Pacing the Floors Awaiting the Birth of My Grandson

I sit here in Dallas, Texas eagerly awaiting the birth of my
grandson. My son, Nathaniel, and his wonderful wife are on pins and
needles knowing that their son will be born any day now. The due
date isn’t for several weeks yet but all the telltale signs are
there that their son may enter the world at any time. I just tried
calling them and nobody answered the phone so for all I know they
could be at the hospital this very minute.

It is a strange enough sharing the trials and tribulations of
parenthood with friends in the LGBT community. Being a boastful
grandparent should prove even more interesting. So many in our
community lead lives that are as far away from the pitter-patter of
little feet. They have no idea about the pleasure one gets from
raising children. I have been told that there is nothing like being
a grandparent. I can only imagine how special that relationship
will be. One gets all of the good while leaving the challenges to
the parents.

One of the things I like least about our current world is the
way we move so far away from our loved ones. My parents lived in
the New York Area. My dad immigrated to the United States in 1935
at the age of ten. My mom was born in New York’s borough of
Queens. Mom lived within 35 miles of where she was born her entire
life. My dad lived in New York from when he arrived in the U.S.
until a few years before he died (he moved out to Chicago so that
my former wife and I could take care of him after my mom died). My
parents had their family and friends within a two-hour drive from
where they lived. I grew up with all of them and referred to my
parents’ friends as aunts and uncles. The extended family was
part of my roots and they were always there for me.

I find it sad that with the mobility of the baby boom generation
and those that have followed that families and friends are strewn
throughout the country and the world. Getting to see so many
different places and live in various parts of the U.S. enriched my
son’s life. Still, I am saddened that Nathaniel rarely saw his
grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. He didn’t get to know
many of my childhood friends or even friends from college and
graduate school. I developed an appreciation for the wisdom of the
elderly by hearing my grandparents talk about what their world was
like when they grew up. I slept over at their homes for weekends on
a regular basis. Nathaniel didn’t have that opportunity. Sure he
got to see grandparents once every year or two but that was usually
for quick family visits. He never experienced the regular nurturing
available only through frequent contact that I did. Nathaniel
didn’t get to spend the special time alone with them that came
about naturally without all of the hoopla of the entire family
getting together.

I wait nervously here in Dallas, Texas so excited that my
grandson will soon be entering the world. Yet, I mourn the fact
that my husband and I are so far away from Nathaniel and his family
as they live in Nova Scotia, Canada. I eagerly await the news of my
grandson’s birth and all the excitement to follow. I look forward
to our first visit. Nova Scotia is so far away that we will be
lucky to visit once or twice a year. Fortunately we have the
ability to video conference thanks to our Apple computers replete
with video cameras so that we can stay connected in a more intimate
way than the weekly phone call I shared with far away close family
a generation ago. Still I wish we were closer to be able to partake
in the joys of being a grandparent on a more frequent, intimate