I lost my grandparents while I was in the Navy. They were dropping like flies from the day I joined until they were all gone. The only family I have left is from my parents on down. There are still a few aunts, an uncle or two and a couple nieces and nephews. All of my (many, many) brothers and their wives/children are still alive.
And now my parents are actually grandparents. Until last year, my children were the smallest grandchildren of my parents. Caiden and Brendan were the last born and I was proud of being the last one to provide grandchildren. Last year, my 2nd oldest brother provided a new grandbaby to the mix and I’ve lost my distinction. Oh, well.
I’m supposed to call them “Grammy” and “Pop-Pop” so my children learn those names for them. I can’t. I have a mental block. They will always be “Mom” and “Dad,” to me. They send cute cards at Christmas and birthdays and do their best to send love to the many grandbabies they have every chance they get.
They are still (and always will be) my parents, though.
Perhaps, if they lived closer (they are in Oklahoma, I’m in Idaho – far distance!), I’d get used to them as grandparents and not parents but, that’s not to be. My dad prefers the warm weather of Oklahoma and I refuse to leave my frozen cold state of Idaho.
I have a long distinction of being the one to forget birthdays and whatnot. My mom will tell you that I only remember to call my dad when it’s my birthday but not his. I guess, for a big part of my growing up (in my 20s), I was selfish and self-centered. No biggie. We all grow out of that eventually, right?
For the past year, I’ve been texting him daily (or near daily). I’d send him little snipits or thoughts and ask about how things are in Oklahoma. I’ve tried to make sure he heard from me on a continuing basis – instead of going months (or years) with nary a word. I’d tell him about a post on my blog that he’d “have to read” and tell him where to find pictures of my babies – especially that last post, “It’s Only Fair.” (Don’t forget to look at it, Dad!) Those pictures are, without a doubt, the best I’ve ever taken of my boys.
I still call him randomly but, combined with the text messages, I think it is ok. He still hears from me on a constant basis – whether he wants to or not!
This past week, I was telling Jen that I had to remember to call my dad on his birthday. No more excuses about forgetting until the day after! She promised to help me remember. All week, we discussed not forgetting to call and, on Friday, I called him. It was my first priority of the day!
I left a message that went something like this, “I was just calling to wish you a Happy Birthday but you didn’t answer your phone. I hope that you didn’t answer your phone because you are doing something fun for your birthday! Call me back!”
About two hours later, Jen says, “Um. Naia?”
“Tomorrow is May 4th.”
So, this year, I didn’t bungle it up and call a day late. I called a day early!?
I called him again today to wish him a proper 70th birthday and got laughed at. I’m ok with that! Instead of being a crappy daughter and calling a day late, I got a phone call in a day early because I forgot what day it was!
So, please join me in wishing this gorgeous old man a Happy 70th Birthday! Isn’t he cute in his hat? My mom took this picture earlier this week, from what I understand.
Lookin good, Dad…. er… Pop-Pop!