Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Papa Ward… Again

Two days ago I became a grandfather for the second time, when my daughter-in-law, Tosca, gave birth to Connor. Yeehah!

Apropos this modern era, I found out via two digital images sent by Ceilee—the proud papa—via his cell phone. No text; just an image of a glassy-eyed Connor staring in the vicinity of the camera while tilting the birthing scale a 6 lbs 3.1 oz, followed by a second image of a swaddled child nestled comfortably in the arms of a smiling Tosca. It's now two days later, and I still haven't received any phone call or text. I reckon that's also part of the modern age. Sigh.

On the other hand—and to Ceilee's credit—
his images were carefully selected to convey the main message: the baby's born and everyone is doing fine. While I'm not quite ready to agree that the two images were worth the couple thousand words I might have had in a phone call, he at least included me in the initial round of notification. (I'm thinking, why couldn't he do both?)

I was amused yesterday when my sister Kyle (in San Antonio) referenced Connor's birth in an email she'd posted to the family about a trip she's planning in September. How did she know so fast? It turned out my wife had posted the two images onto her Facebook page and my sister picked them up there. What an interesting array of options are available for grapevine tendrils to wend there way to inquiring minds these days!

I last had voice communication with my son June 19 when my daughter Jo was visiting Ceilee and they decided to call the old man on Father's Day. When I inquired about Tosca's gravidity, the thought was that Connor was likely to arrive early. While the due date was July 4 (think fetal independence in the 110-degree days of high summer in Las Vegas), the baby was full term and it's no fun trying to vaginally deliver an over-sized pumpkin. So I had been put on notice that the baby was queued up to make an appearance in the coming week, and when things came to a head (so to speak) this past weekend, I was happily awaiting word when Ceilee's images arrived in my In Box.

What's In a Name
In addition to talking with Jo, Ceilee, and Tosca on Father's Day, I got an earful from an excited Taivyn—Connor's three-year-old sister—who was getting cranked up in anticipation of her little brother's grand entrance. More than once she barged in on one of the adults as they were conversing with me to shout, "Hi, Papa Ward!"

Let me explain that moniker. First of all, I've never been big on honorifics, and have always encouraged youngsters to call me by my first name. When I had kids of my own, it was a simple matter to keep that going. When Jo was a young child though, "Laird" was a tough name to master and it came out much more like "Ward." Fascinated with how this was evocative of Ward Cleaver (the bemused breadwinner on the 50's TV classic Leave It to Beaver), that misnomer grew legs. In fact, it's now old enough to drink. Two decades later my kids still call me Ward.

Playing around with what names to teach their kids to call their in-laws, Ceilee & Tosca got creative. (I'm in no position to get huffy here, after putting "Ceilee" on a birth certificate 30 years ago.) For example, Tosca has a exuberant younger sister, Laurie, and Taivyn calls her Aunt Ya-ya. (I reckon those "L" names are just a booger all around.) Ceilee's mother is Annie, and it was a simple matter to translate her into Granny Annie. I became Papa Ward. While I'm not saying I would have suggested that myself, sometime you just have to go with the flow.

This is likely to be my final grandchild from my kids, and that's OK. My plan is simply to enjoy the ones I'm blessed enough to have. Tosca & Ceilee have announced plans to close up shop, and Jo has made it clear she's fine with two dogs. Ma'ikwe's son, Jibran, is only 14, so there are possibilities there, but who knows. Right now he's focused on becoming the youngest person to become a full member of Dancing Rabbit—Ma'ikwe and I are hoping he has no immediate interest in proving his manhood in other ways any time soon.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Laird!!

Apparently, the wordy communication gene didn't get passed directly to your children. Hopefully it's one of those that just skips a generation and your grandchildren will satisfy your need for lots of verbal connection and plenty of detail.

Mostyn said...