I talk a lot about my mom in this little space, but I rarely talk about my dad. I don't know why, it's not like we aren't close. I love the man with all my heart. My dad is just kind of reserved. He's a home body, a hermit crab as my mom calls him. But something changed when I had my babies. He became a grandpa, and that was a game changer for him.
My dad was involved in my life. I'm not saying he wasn't, but he was like a buddy. He'd pick me up from school on his days off and we would go to Monterey, just the two of us. Go to the warf and buy salt water taffy. Or instead of Monterey, go to Toys R Us and look around, pick out a new Barbie or two, and then go home and eat McDonald's. That's how dad I and spent time together.
He taught me everything I needed to know about the Beatles, Jimmi Hendrix, and vinyl records. He told me that even when I went to ask for a job application I needed to be dressed nice. He taught me how to pour a perfect cup of beer from a keg... Something that made me a rockstar at fraternity parties years later. He was also the man who would sneak into the sorority parking lot, take my car with his spare key, wash it, gas it up, and leave a 20 in the ashtray. A hero among dads am I right?
Dad had rules though. You didn't change the channel on Dad's TV. Not ever. Not even on Saturday mornings when you really, really wanted to watch Care Bears. You also didn't eat cookies first thing. A good, solid meal first and then something sweet.
I'm telling you this because of what has happened to the man formerly known as Dad, who is now Grandpa.
Grandpa let a 2 year old Caitlin eat a chocolate chip cookie bigger than her head at 6:30 one morning when I dropped her off before work. He also asked her what she wanted to watch on TV. They settled on Barney. And it was then, that I knew, that gruff guy, with the gruff voice, and sometimes cranky demeanor was all but gone. He was now Grandpa, the snuggly bear, who was now cuddling my little one and her almost gone chocolate chip cookie.
Not much has changed since adding Mac into the mix. If anything Mac has added to his laugh track. Mac and Grandpa share a lot of the same sense of humor and a love of cats. They love petting the cats in our lives and making eachother laugh with prat falls and funny faces.
So it wasn't a big surprise when my dad asked his "girls" out to lunch last Friday. My mom's out of town, and I think he was a little bored at home. He took us to Caitlin's favorite place, Panera Bread, and bought us lunch. A lunch that included sodas and incredibly large iced flower cookies. Because that's how he rolls. He also went out and bought Mac her own Dream Lites pillow pet when he learned that Mac wanted one of her own. And posed for some pictures. Just another day for a Grandpa.
It's one of those things that you don't really think about. When you are so wrapped up in your own changes as a mother, you don't realize that your kids don't just change your life. That you aren't the only one who gets to enjoy the riches and blessings of your little people.
Sometimes you get a glimpse, proof that you don't have enough fingers and toes.
That there are not enough numbers in the world.
To count your blessings.