My View: Living it up granddaddy style

  • Aria Jade has never taken a bad photograph, including this one on Christmas Day while playing with the glowing moon ball she just opened.
    Aria Jade has never taken a bad photograph, including this one on Christmas Day while playing with the glowing moon ball she just opened.
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    I thought being a daddy was about as good as it gets in this world – and then eight months ago I became a granddaddy for the first time.
    Everything others told me about it being a grandparent is true. You have all of the love, but lesser late-night feedings. All of the playtime, with far fewer diaper changes. Plenty squeals of delight, and without so many bedtime temper tantrums.
    Not that I’m saying she’s perfect … wait a minute, of course I am.
    Through Aria Jade, I’m able to see more clearly. As her eyes dart about, soaking in all of the new stimuli, I’m learning to look at the world from a different perspective, to not take things for granted, to want to leave Earth better than I found it.
    While many of us have gotten too cynical over the years, Aria sees life through a fresh set of eyes, not caring about the things we allow to divide us. Her actions are innocent and her smile is genuine, with affection handed out in daily doses.
    To quote the 1980s band Depeche Mode, I just can’t get enough.
    And just in time, too, as I’ve been feeling very mortal lately. That’s in part due to the untimely death of Jeff Swain, who most folks around here called Smurf. He was two years behind me at Murphy High School, and on Jan. 4 he went to the next world. Doesn’t seem right that someone with so much life in him could already be gone.
    Since turning 18, then 21, I’ve been wondering when I would truly feel like a grownup. Would it happen while being married? Raising four children? Progressing in a career? Putting away childish things? When my mother and grandmother died within a few months of each other in 2017?
    Almost. It finally happened the moment I stared into the face of my baby granddaughter and realized that I am the one she will look up to in this life, just like I did with my grandparents. There is no one else after me to take on that responsibility.
    I call my grandmother the world’s greatest human because she was always there for me – and her children, other grandchildren, great-grandchildren and anyone else in need. Looking back, I’m astonished that one person was able to do so much for so many. Even when she was working full time, her family never got put on the back burner.
    That’s what love and faith will do. And that’s a lot to live up to.
    I didn’t know if I was ready for that kind of responsibility, but it was ready for me nonetheless. It may have taken most of my 54 years, but I’m an adult now – and one who hopes to live long enough to see Aria become a real-live grownup herself.
    It’s going to be a wonderful ride.
    David Brown is publisher & editor of the Cherokee Scout. You can reach him by phone, 837-5122; fax, 837-5832; email, dbrown@cherokeescout.com; or message him on Twitter @daviddBstroh.