Those of you who read my column last fall about my wife and I expecting our first grandchild most likely knew this update was coming. Yes, I’m officially a grandpa.
Charlie Adele Card made her appearance on April 17 at Balboa Hospital in San Diego. She is the daughter of my son, Daniel, a Navy diver stationed in San Diego, and his wife, Stephanie. Charlie is named after my dad, Charles, and Stephanie’s grandmother, Adele.
Over the last few months, whenever other grandparents learned we would soon join their ranks, we kept hearing about what a great experience it is. It would make me think of that comment, “If I knew how much fun grandkids would be, I’d have had them first!” We are only three weeks into this new phase of our lives, but already we are getting a glimpse of the adventure that awaits us.
There is one slight problem — this new grandchild lives more than 1,000 miles away. And this summer, Daniel will be transferring to Panama City, Fla., where he will be an instructor for the next three years at the Navy’s dive school. That’s hardly conducive to weekend visits with our new bundle of joy. But the distance is made a bit more bearable with today’s technology, from video chats to lots of pictures being texted. I was even able to see and hear her cry when she was just minutes old.
And there is another bright side. Daniel will go to Florida before the rest of his family, to receive some additional training and to get their household set up. So Stephanie and Charlie will be coming up to Newport for a few weeks, and then we will drive the two of them to their new home in Florida. That should prove to be quite an experience for my wife and me, seeing as how we have been empty-nesting for the last six years, but we’re both looking forward to it.
Co-workers and friends have discovered that I’m quick to whip out my smartphone and show off pictures of my new granddaughter, who is arguably the best looking baby ever born — not that I’m biased in any way. I have also noticed that when I gaze at pictures of this little baby girl, the worries and cares of this world seem to fade into the background, at least for a little while. There’s just something about a new life that can fill a person with hope for a better tomorrow. Maybe it’s simply the potential and possibilities we see in that little face — a future yet to be created.
Yes, there will be trials and tribulations as she goes through life. That is inevitable. But at the same time, I would like to believe that perhaps this new life, and others like her, can help to make this world a better place than it is today. And it is our job to help clear the way for that to happen, to find a way to end so much of the divisiveness that surrounds us and instead come together to pave the way for a brighter, more positive future for all people.