Last spring I pulled into my driveway at home to see my son, Bret, standing there. I slowed down to see what he wanted, as he looked like he had something on his mind. As I rolled down my window he asked, "Are you ready to be an old man?" What's that supposed to mean, I asked back. "Well, you're going to be a grandpa", he said. Was that planned, I asked? "Yes", he said, "You know, you're the 4th person out of the 4 people we've told to ask that."
I was a little bit stunned actually. I wasn't sure I wanted to be a grandpa yet. I wasn't sure I wanted them to be parents yet either. Sure, they'd been married for a few years already, but they just seemed too young. I was going to need awhile to get used to this idea. Good thing I had nearly 9 months to think about this.
As Christmas rolled around and the early January due date got closer and closer, I started to get a little more excited. Then I started to get a little anxious, wishing this little ironman would hurry up and get here. I had big plans for him. First there would be fun runs when he's a couple years old. I'm sure the Wheat Run will be one of his first events. Then there is swim team, ironkids triathlons, track, cross country, maybe collegiate running like his Uncle Eric does. And we'll have to do an ironman together. Maybe by then we can talk his dad into doing one.
Finally, around 6 p.m. on Monday, January 7, I got a text at work from my son Bret that said, "Baby Alec is born." I finished up the last files I was working on and headed over to the hospital to join all the other family members who had already assembled there. And there he was, already all wrapped up, and waiting to go back to his room with his mommy. I just stood there and watched, mesmerized by the (not so) little guy, Alec Kane Anders, all 9 pounds 3 ounces, 20.25 inches of him.
Later I watched his grandmas ooh and aah over him, passing him from one to the other, patiently waiting for my turn. Finally the little ironman was handed over to me, and I just stood there looking down at him, feeling his warmth and peace. And then I knew why neither grandma wanted to let go of him.
By the next day I was on eBay and Amazon.com looking at running strollers. Yes I know. He's too young and it's too cold, but I have to be ready when it's time. I'm sure I will be going up to Bret and Tamara's house some morning in the not too terribly distant future and banging on their front door. Tamara will probably say to Bret, "I bet it's your dad again. Doesn't he know we would like to sleep?" Hopefully one of them will come to the door, sleepily no doubt, and I will peer in anxiously looking for the boy. Can Alec come out to play, I will say, adding that I will not be gone too long. Just going for a little 10-15 mile run you know.
Page 2 of 2 - Since that day of his arrival I've made a few more visits. Not near as many as his grandma though. And poor Eric; within hours his replacement as the favorite "boy" in his mother's life was already official, as evidenced for all to see on Facebook. I do have one benefit that no one else can claim—I get to be his chiropractor as well. And he's a great patient. Live Well. Live Wellington.