Monday, March 5, 2012

On Becoming a Grandfather, a Second Time

How is it possible to fall in love at first sight with someone before you’ve had a chance to see her? How can you cherish in your heart a newborn baby who has not yet been named? How can one take pride and joy in a birth without being responsible for it?

The miracle of life is so precious and never ceases to amaze. Yesterday, my second granddaughter arrived in this world, and from what I’ve seen of her, she’s a pretty talented kid. Her parents must still finalize her name but already she’s proven quite capable of breathing oxygen and nursing on her mother’s milk. And she’s pretty photogenic as well.

Sister to Daniella and daughter of Reut and Nir, the youngest member of the Shammay family came into this world weighing 3.350 kilograms. She has black hair and all those other body parts that look so cute on newborns. Compared to her older sibling, a well-spoken not-yet-two-year-old, the new infant is tiny and fragile, yet she seems capable of accomplishing anything she wants.

Becoming a grandfather a second time is no less exciting than what I experienced the first time around. I am in awe of what I am seeing, and I applaud my daughter for carrying this lovely package for the past nine months. Being a grandparent is all about having fun. We can enjoy the grandchildren and leave the diaper changing to someone else.

My new granddaughter has arrived in a tough world. There are wars, poverty and famine. There are serious concerns whether we will have enough water and food to support everyone on the planet. Here in Israel, it looks like my generation will not be able to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and our relations with Iran were much better in the past. Not the best legacy to leave for my granddaughter and her future.

Despite all this, the world became a more beautiful place yesterday. I welcome the new member of my family with open hands and a warm heart.

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