In Celebration of Grandfatherhood on Father’s Day
There are few things in life that are as precious to a child as their Dad. The appeal is effortless – one tickle fight and they’re in for life. When I was a kid, all my Dad had to do to make my day was get home from work and play duplo with me and my sisters, or tell us a story that started with “When I was a little boy.” When we got our first jobs, Dad was the one who helped us get tax file numbers and open superannuation accounts. When we got our learners permits, Dad was the one who took us car shopping and arranged our insurance. For as long as we lived under his roof, we were looked after. We didn’t have to worry about struggling through anything by ourselves – we could just ask Dad. And even when we all eventually moved out of home, the advice and care never stopped. Being our Dad wasn’t something he could just switch off… and nor should he have! I firmly believe that us girls will always need our Dad.
Naturally, as the time approached to start a family of my own, I began to wonder what Grandfatherhood would look like on him. I wondered if he would have any more of himself left to give to a whole new generation of little people. I wondered about his bond with my imagined children. It’s hard to wrap your head around becoming a parent and watching your parents become grandparents. The shift in dynamic is huge.
Before I knew it, Chris and I were announcing a pregnancy to my startled family… and the shout of joy and surprise that erupted from my beloved Dad is a sound that will never leave my memory bank. When Jackson was born, and I witnessed Grandad and Grandson quietly taking each other in for the first time, it was obvious… Grandfatherhood had enveloped my Dad, and he would never be the same again.
Remember that effortless appeal I mentioned? It turns out Grandads have it too. My Dad simply needs to walk into the room and cry “It’s the man cub!” for Jackson’s eyes to light up in recognition of his special Grandad-only nickname, his face splitting into an impossibly delighted grin. Whatever he’s playing with/eating/pulling apart is abandoned in favour of a solid Grandad cuddle. When we visit my parents, Jackson’s first order of business is to track down my Dad, toddling through his room and his study until he strikes gold. On the occasion that Dad hasn’t collected the morning paper, nothing is more thrilling to Jackson than to pick it up and bring it to him. I love that my son loves his Grandad so much. And I love that my Dad loves him back. Grandfatherhood is a precious thing to witness.
This Father’s Day, I am grateful for Fatherhood. I am grateful that my Dad is my Dad, and I am grateful that Chris is Jackson’s Dad. But I’m also grateful for Grandfatherhood – for my Dad, for Chris’s Dad and Stepdad, and the priceless roles they play in my most precious little man’s life.
Klara is the founder of She the Fierce. She lives in Perth, Western Australia and is married to a Californian IT-nerd/carpentry dabbler/handyman extreme, Chris. They have one gorgeous, long-lashed little boy, Jackson, and their fur-babies include two dogs and one fat black cat. Klara is a (mostly) stay-at-home Mum with a background in finance and admin. She’s a Christian who loves singing, cooking, cups of tea, grey rainy days, scrapbooking and suggesting spectacular renovation and handyman projects to Chris!