I frequently wake up in the morning with a song inside my head. I know this happens to many people.
Often the song is something I haven't heard or even thought about in many years. Other times the music is something that's clearly linked to events in my life.
I've been waking up recently singing a song that stays with me all day. I hear it in the morning when I get up and when I go to bed at night. I started hearing it on June 28th -- a life-changing day in our family.
On that date, Jeanne and I became grandparents for the fourth time. I announced it immediately complete with photos on the world's bulletin board: Facebook.
Alex was born in Wilmington, Delaware to our son, Matt, and daughter-in-law Lisa. Technology often drives me crazy. But I do appreciate it when I can get photos of a new grandson within an hour of his birth and I'm then able to share them online with everyone I know around the world. Alex's birth announcement circled the globe faster than the space shuttle or even a rumor.
Babies are grandparent magnets so we went to Delaware as fast as we could. It was a wonderful visit.
Babies are supposed to sleep on their backs, but with his grandparents around Alex didn't have much time for that. He did his sleeping snuggled at our shoulders. It's a wonderful feeling holding a new life snuggled in your shoulder as he sleeps.
In time he would wake up and cry. Thankfully, being an experienced granddad I knew exactly what to do with a crying baby.
I gave him back to his mother.
Our daughter-in-law was exhausted with her new routine. Watching her I was reminded what sleeping like a baby" really means. It means you sleep for two hours and then cry for food; sleep for two more hours and then cry for food . . .
I felt guilty about all that Lisa had to do. Not guilty enough to get up with her and Alex every two hours all night, but a little guilty just the same -- guilty enough to ask my wife if she was going to get up and help.
It's been 14 years since our last grandchild and I'd forgotten many things about babies. I'd forgotten that newborns can't distinguish between day and night.
I remember that teenagers can't, but I'd forgotten about newborns.
As Alex now approaches one month old he's officially an infant. The word "infant" comes from the Latin word "infans" which means "speechless." It's obvious why we use this word to describe babies.
It's because they're so beautiful they leave us speechless.
Alex is growing quickly and he's now sleeping in his "big boy bed" until our arms and shoulders arrive again soon and I can sing him the song that's not only in my head, but also in my heart.
In 1947, the year before I was born, this song was written and recorded by Eddie Arnold and later others. My mother loved it and I've heard her sing it often. She is almost 92 and lives in a memory care nursing center, but she can still sing the song. There are some things we never forget. The song is That Little Boy of Mine.
A tiny turned up nose two cheeks just like a rose
So sweet from head to toes that little boy of mine
Two arms that hold me tight two eyes that shine so bright
Two lips that kiss goodnight that little boy of mine
No one will ever know just what his coming has meant
Because I love him so he's something heaven has sent
He's all the world to me he climbs upon my knee
To me he'll always be that little boy of mine . . .
Alex, you are now just starting on the incredible adventure of life. I don't know where it will take you, but I hope this adventure is filled with all the love and happiness you have brought into our lives -- and that's a lot of love and a lot of happiness.
One day all too soon you will grow into a fine man like your father. That is what you are supposed to do.
But time passes too quickly and no one knows this better than grandparents who have seen their own children gofrom babies to adults in the blink of an eye.
So be patient with us and understand how we feel. Because whatever you do and wherever you go, no matter how tall and strong you grow, to your grandparents you will always be exactly what you are today.
That little boy of ours.
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