There is some strange transformative process that takes place with the birth of that first little amazing bundle of protoplasm. First, your children no longer are just your children, they are now parents and you see in them the same weight of responsibility that you felt when you were handed your first tiny child.
Strangely, you feel lighter, happier. The baton is passed and there’s nothing but rainbows, unicorns and happy days ahead. Well, maybe not unicorns. While your children are feeling completely overwhelmed by the total upheaval in their lives, you are intoxicated with this amazing little creature.
It is a strange phenomenon. One very serious CEO I knew ended his annual PowerPoint presentation to his staff with a pictorial display of the annual activities of his twin grandchildren. You could almost see his lips quiver when the little darlings flashed on screen in their bunny sleepers.
You would think after the birth of two or more grandchildren, it would become routine. And possibly for those individuals whose grandchildren number in double digits, that might be the case, but for the rest of us, we just become putty.
My newest little grandboy's name is Colin. Like the other four, he’s brilliant, and adorable. We bonded immediately. Since he could walk, Colin has taken an extraordinary interest in two things – cleaning and “The Wonder Pets” on TV.
Colin is completely fascinated by my daughter Julie’s electric broom that she uses to pick up around the kitchen after meals. Colin has taken over that chore with great gusto. After he finishes vacuuming he likes to take a paper towel and pick up any crumbs he missed. We try not to let on that this activity isn’t a party game.
Even as an almost 2-year-old, Colin is quite the early riser, preferring to start his day, even on Saturday and Sunday, at about 5:30 a.m. Julie and her husband prefer to start their weekends closer to 7.
When I visit them in Oklahoma, 5:30 is no problem. The first morning when I scooped Colin up out of his bed, he looked me square in the eyes and said,“wuzerbes.”
I said, “What?”
He looked at me sincerely and said, “wuzerbes.” When Julie got up, she explained to me that he was asking to watch “The Wonder Pets.”
That’s when I became a “Wonder Pets” fan. It is a riveting drama starring Ming-Ming the duck, Lenny the hamster and Tuck the turtle. They live in a little school house as the classroom pets. When the school day ends, the tin can phone always rings and somewhere in the world, “there’s an animal in trouble.” “The Wonder Pets” quickly board their flying boat and are off to the rescue. One of mine and Colin’s favorite episodes involved rescuing a baby owl from a tree and returning it to its mother. It is Emmy Award quality television. Colin completely agrees.
Back at home, I don’t watch “The Wonder Pets.” It just isn’t the same without little Colin to share those exciting adventures. However, when I am nostalgic for his sweet little face and our time together with Ming-Ming, Lenny and Tuck, I find myself breaking into song. “There’s an animal in trouble, there’s an animal in trouble …” Like I said, while some shake their heads and roll their eyes, there are others who quietly hum the theme to Sesame Street. I know that one, too.