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Dear Son, Prior Generation


--22 Days Old---

Dear Son,

It's been three weeks since you entered this world, and ever since then, you've given us joy, smiles, love, countless Google searches, plenty of shoulder shrug I-give-up moments, countless "spit-up" shower/laundry drills (we have this down now - it's such a tight operation), a lifetime subscription to sleep deficiency and an immediate annoyance to parenting advice from those who wish to give it unsolicited.

But you know what, between all the unknowns, the shrugs, and the fatigue, you flash a moments smile, and we're back in the game. And if we capture it on our phones, it's like a bases loaded, 3 RBI, triple.

Yet, as the days peel off the calendar board, and sunrises and sunsets aren't exactly lining up mentally in our place in comparison to earth's time continuum, this third week of your existence brought you visitors - your first! - in the likes of your grandparents.

By now, you probably know you are lucky and that you have six grandparents. Odd? Sure, but nothing about you, your background, or your family is. So, deal with it. If you haven't already.

Nonetheless, you had your opportunity to lay in the arms of them all, as they admire and take you in. As much as I write these posts and of course, always open to sharing what's on my mind and in my heart, it was very interesting to see some of your grandparents - some not accustomed or in-tune with such attributes - navigate those feelings as they stare into those brown eyes of yours.

Obviously, Grandparent-hood is another level, one I hope to experience much later in my life. Yet, for all of these grandparents, the road to that very moment was paved VERY differently for each and everyone of them, and it was abundantly clear and written on their face during those bonding moments.

I can't relay what they were thinking. To be completely honest, I have no idea. A few of them (as I'm sure you'll probably come to realize), I have absolutely no idea what goes on in their heads. That includes my own father who as of this post, is battling the evil disease that is Dementia. But that's OK. Hopefully one day, you'll have the opportunity to ask each of them yourself. And I hope this post sparks that.

But I will tell you this, you're tremendously lucky. In many ways, I very much envy the structure you will have. Six grandparents. SIX! That's a lot of love. A lot of experience. A lot of options to be spoiled. A lot of living bibliography resources to understand who you are.

I never had the opportunity to meet either one of my grandfathers. Both passed away before I was even born. My grandmother on my mother's side, who, just from stories alone sounded tremendous, and like a woman I wish I could meet today, died when I was just six years old. I met her twice, and vaguely remember it.

My grandmother on my dad's side I met a few more times as she passed away when I was eighteen. While that sounds like an opportunity to have met her, various barriers like her residing back in the islands, and of course, the big one in that my dad and her never had the strongest of relationships. That wasn't due to animosity between them, just the mere nature of my dad leaving home at sixteen to make his eventual voyage to the United States. So yeah, I barely knew the lady.

So for me, it's always been Mom and Dad. But for you, and God willing, it'll be just that plus six grandparents - and oh yeah, two GREAT grandparents. Again, that's pretty awesome, and downright pretty cool. It's easy to take things for granted in this world, and I'm very sure I've hammered that into you by now as you read this, but it's an incredibly special privilege. Cherish it.

And while the visits of the prior generation this week further opened my eyes to how much harder it will be for you in answering the question of "what is your heritage?" than it has been for me in this life (surely, another post for another time) - (me: 1/4 Portuguese, 1/4 West Indian, 1/4 Indian, 1/4 British; your mom: 1/2 Italian, 1/4 Danish, 1/4 French - I'll let you do the math) - it definitely opened my eyes on how special having mere access to the previous generation is. More importantly, how completely different all six options truly are.

Again, God willing, you'll have six when you read this. I pray that you do. As most get four. Some, like me, go 0-4 on the prior generation at-bats. But you, you'll get six opportunities.

Again, don't take it for granted. Cherish.

Sincerely,

Your-incredibly-mixed-of-a-mutt-human Dad.

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