Welcome me to the Grandparents Club!

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

We’ve officially joined the Grandparents’ Club, though we’re much too young to be grandparents. Our daughter’s baby was due May 2nd, and we were debating about when to leave for the nine-hour drive to Southwest Florida.

We hoped to be there for the delivery and wondered whether we should leave Wednesday, or Thursday. The baby solved that dilemma by deciding she’d come early.

Monday morning after Easter, I had finished my jog and was getting ready to come to the office when my daughter called: she was definitely in labor and was on her way to the hospital. I had gassed up the car Sunday, but neither of us had packed a bag.

My wife was at work and called in a co-worker who was on standby. We scrambled around and hit the road at 9:30 a.m. We ran hard all day, but I received a text message around 3:10. It was a picture of my daughter holding her newborn daughter.

Harper Lily was born at 2:57 p.m., weighed six pounds, two ounces, and was 19 inches long. We rejoiced and pressed on, finally arriving at the hospital at 6:30 p.m.

What a great moment when we walked in and saw that baby! We were so thankful for a safe delivery, for a healthy baby and for this moment of celebration in the life of Rachel and Perry.

We spent the week in Florida helping any way we could as my daughter adjusted to motherhood. We took turns holding, rocking and loving on Harper, helping with bath time, and taking a shift at night. We eventually moved the “pack and play” into our room so Rachel could get some sleep between feedings.

We cleaned the house, fed the dogs, ran to the grocery store, cooked meals and were just available to do whatever needed to be done. What a joy!

It’s amazing how attached one can get to a little grandbaby. I thought I was proud when my kids entered this world (and I was!), but, boy, the pride of having this granddaughter may compete with that. I discovered several things about myself through this experience:

• Having kids is for the young and hearty. Getting awakened every three hours and then having to go to work the next day is tough. I didn’t have to go to work, but eventually my son-in-law did. I could stay home and take a nap.

• I’m out of practice with diaper changing. With only the glow of a night light and with middle-aged eyesight, I fumbled my way through removing the diaper, trying to see if it was dirty, and then getting the new one into place and fastened. Thank goodness we didn’t use diaper pins and cloth diapers like we did 29 years-ago. I was slow as Christmas, and all thumbs.

• I’m out of practice with snapping the tiny snaps on newborn baby outfits, especially in the dark in the middle of the night with middle-age eyesight. I felt like a grandpa with the pace I was moving.

• There’s a lot of pressure with deciding what you want to be called. Whatever you’re called on the first one will stick forever. We got on the internet and did a search for “names for grandparents.” They had traditional names and trendy names.

I sort of liked Grand-Dude, or G-Daddy, but I’m going with Granddad, or Grandaddy. That’s what my dad was called, and I’ll stick with that in honor of him. I wish he was here to cherish this moment.

My wife only had nine months to decide her title, and still hasn’t declared, though she has eliminated a lot of possibilities.

• There are a lot of pretty babies in this world, and as a pastor, I’ve had the privilege of visiting in hospital rooms and holding brand new babies while celebrating with the parents. And I’ve complimented plenty of grandparents who have shown me their pictures. But none of them top Harper Lily, who may be the prettiest grandbaby ever!

Someone said that becoming a grandparent is God’s gift to a parent for a job well done. The Bible says that children are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). We are discovering that grandchildren are, also!

Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services building. Join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.