My dad (or Pop as Jack calls him) penned this column right after Jack was born. Thought I'd share it with you all. My dad's quite a writer. In fact, most people think that's where I got my knack for it. I only hope to be able to one day move folks with tears, laughter and smiles through my words the way my dad always has. I'd like to think that if he had time to start a blog, these are the types of wonderful pieces you would read there. I read Pop's column welcoming Jack again for the first time the other day and cried as though I was reading it again for the first time.
Jackson David Garrett, welcome to the world
We’ve been expecting you.
Your estimated time of arrival was during the Thanksgiving holiday, but just like Delta, even the stork is late sometimes.
Besides, you were in no hurry to vacate your old digs. Plenty of nourishment, no interruptions and lots of sack time.
I suspect this new environment has been quite a shock to your system. That’s what happens when you discover such previously foreign elements as air and light.
But I promise. You’re going to love it here.
And if you think air and light are something, wait until you discover what else this big ol’ world has to offer.
Jack, maybe some introductions are in order. Things have been happening pretty fast since you showed up at 3:28 in the afternoon on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Has it been hard to keep up with all the new faces?
Remember this. I’m the good looking one.
Jack, that’s what you call a joke. It’s meant to amuse and elicit laughter. I sure hope you experience a whole lot of laughter from here on out.
By now, I know you’re well acquainted with your mother. That was her heartbeat you’ve been listening to these past nine months. I’m your mother’s dad.
“What’s a dad?” you ask.
You know that other voice you heard a lot of, the deeper one, that came from somewhere outside your world? That was your dad.
Cut him a little slack, Jack, because this is his first go-round at this dad business. I think he’s going to do just fine. But do forgive him when he makes a mistake. It’s just in our nature.
Moms and dads, by the way, are different. Really, really different.
Moms are equipped with soothing voices, soft touches and instincts that can discern between a dirty-diaper cry and a feed-me cry. When you leave the house in a coordinated outfit that would look just right on the cover of GQ, well, that’s Mom’s doings.
Dads, on the other hand, are a little less civilized. You’ve already noticed that deep voice thing. He’s rougher around the edges, particularly if you brush up against him in the morning. See, overnight he sprouts tiny pieces of wire on his face. And fashion coordination? Forget it. Simply put, do the colors match? Can you see the stains? Does it pass the sniff test? Then we’re good to go.
But one of these days, your Dad will show you how to get a grip on bicycle handlebars, a fishing pole, a baseball bat, a football or a screwdriver. Sometimes he’ll help you get a grip on life itself.
But Jack, there is something that you must understand early in life. The two most important people in your world are, ahem, me and your grandmother.
I know, I know. You don’t live with us.
However, your grandmother and I have devised a careful strategy designed to absolutely capture your heart. We sure hope you will eagerly anticipate our comings and deeply regret our goings.
Jack, as the years go by, you need to show your parents a thing or two.
Remind them about frolicking in autumn leaves, about making mud pies, about chasing wiggly lizards, about catching lightning bugs at dusk and about building sand castles along the seashore. Come to think of it, you need to remind me of those things too, Jack.
I had a little heart to heart with your Mom a few days ago. I begged her to make sure you wear a lot of red and black. I said it wouldn’t hurt if she brags to you about her daddy. Daily. And I asked her to be sure and tell you about Jesus.
I hope your Mom was paying attention when a friend told her to treasure every moment, because those moments will be gone before she knows it.
And I could not help but think of that moment 28 years ago when I first held your Mom. Where did the time go?
Jack, just one last thing.
You’ve no doubt sensed the presence hereabouts of another elusive quality that is hard to define.
It’s called love.
We love you, Jack.
Sleep tight, little man.
Blake Giles is the grandfather of Jackson David Garrett of Mt. Airy, Ga.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of "Some words from Pop." A column welcoming Sam ran in The Oconee Enterprise last week, where Pop serves as Editor.