Friday, December 01, 2006

What does it mean to be a grandfather in the 21st century?

I've only met my grandfather on my father's side, and he died when I was 10. Grandpa Alberto was Portuguese from Funchal, at the Madeira island, and I must admit I don't know much about his life. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to know him better, my memories of him are of a very serious man of few words, nothing more.
My sons met their grandfathers and got to know my father (my father-in-law lives far away) much more than I knew my grandpa. My father was always helpful, always willing to help in any situation (sometimes, even exaggerating), and he liked to tell his life stories, some of them surprising (such as the time when he was detained for allegedly spying during WW II, but this is a story to be told some other time) to his grandchildren.
As for my father-in-law, he's very funny, but living more than two thousand miles away from São Paulo, my sons have few opportunities of spending time with him.
Well, the reason I'm telling all this is that now it's my turn: Guilherme will arrive in a few days. And I must confess I still haven't fully got the hold of it. I'm about to become a grandfather? But I'm still so young! I mean, I consider myself young, although the mirror signals to me everyday that my face is looking more and more like a grandfather's... But it was about time, and I've been waiting for this long enough. In the last few years, I've been adopting other people's grandchildren, such is the desire of having children at home again. And, although I'll keep cherishing these grandchildren as much as I do now, it's good to know that soon I'll be exchanging Guilherme's stories with the friends I've been envying for so long...
But then I ask myself the question above: what will it be like to be the grandfather of a boy born on the thrid millenium, what will he expect from me, what will I be able to offer him? This is the theme I intend to discuss in this blog. To talk about the daily experience of the 21st century grandpa, and as a bonus, also about the things I like, the neighborhood birds I'm getting to know, the memories of travels I made, the pictures I intend to take with my new camera... In short, everything the blog will support without complaining...
(In the picture, grandpa Alberto, me and my brother, in my grandpa's house in Campinas, during carnaval, '54 - can you notice by the frantic activity?)

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