Out with the old, in with the new

My mortality was definitively announced with the full throated cry of a newborn, fully pink and flush from the hard passage, wailing his objection to the eviction and voicing his displeasure at the light, the air, and the awaiting life of toil that began with a life and death struggle for the nipple.


Not a milestone but a tombstone, a definitive thrusting motion off to the side like a large piece of family furniture, suddenly in the way, and now set over in the corner lest someone trip over it or stub a toe.

Live forever! Ride a bike! Avoid the void with fruit, grains, nuts, and complete abjuration of trans-fats, saturated fats, and saturated news cycles and recycled political crises and dilemmas. California! The golden shore! Where death is for other people and mortality only happens in whispers, quickly forgotten or painfully remembered in silence because Pontius Pilates and deep tissue massage and Zumba for the aged will anti-age you or at least make sure that everyone else croaks first.

I pedaled along the bike path with a friend, deeply thankful that my grandson had announced my demise, trying and failing to convey my gratitude which instead sounded like a whine or a sob or a spoiled brat crying “No!”

Not I. Facts for me are things to be seen and understood, never denied or prayed around. In order to die we first have to live. And nothing infuses life like the turning cranks, or as Robert Doty likes to say, “the Church of the Spinning Wheel.” Because along with the announcement that my time was shortening rather more quickly than I’d anticipated, my grandson brought with him a rare gift, and this too I carefully considered as I rode.

No longer the provider, the progenitor, the pater familias, the care for this new life was first and foremost the duty of someone else. Someone else had brought him into the world, had made the solemn contract to clothe, to nourish, to house, to succor, to protect, to guide, to comfort, and to heal.

My grandson brought with him into the world a gift to me, the freedom simply to love, and to love simply.

26 thoughts on “Out with the old, in with the new”

  1. Congrats! And stay firm on “the care for this new life was first and foremost the duty of someone else” – otherwise you may be spending precious pedal time changing diapers and heating bottles. Though that may be more rewarding…

  2. Congratulations! Don’t forget your grandfatherly duty to also spoil the kid… Can you get a Binky made out of 100% full carbon fiber?

  3. Pure Brilliance…Again.
    Congratulations, although I never quite understood why a grandparent gets congratulated. You didn’t do anything this time around, and you already got congratulated years ago when you started that cycle!

  4. Dude, your duties are just starting. Besides introducing him to the beauty of cycling ; start him a trust fun so he has all the time he needs to get good!!! You have enough time to make that fund have the appropriate value…..

  5. Congrats for the life event and the bouncing rubbery bundle.
    Untold surprises will unfold as (s)he comes ’round in the coming years.

    Next Donut Ride will have a trail of cigar smoke in its wake.

  6. Also on the sunny side, there is Grandparents’ Revenge.
    (It’s in the small print somewhere)

  7. Mark 'Fred profamateur' Holt

    Congrats you lucky bastard. I’m 64 and my ungrateful son refuses to get married and provide me with a grandson. I’m running out of time on this planet and want to be able to run and/or ride with the next gen and the way things are going I’ll be wheelchair bound before a next gen is even a possibility.

    Seriously, you are massively fortunate and I hope the new fella is a real joy for you and you a joy for him.

  8. Congrats to all, especially the parents, now the hard work truly begins, for them at least.

    I once heard that, being a grand parent is like all the best parts of being a parent, with none of the draw backs: at the end of the day you give them back.

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