The Perils of Grandpahood


A few years ago I was walking down the hall between church meetings and noticed several young mothers talking together, which included two of my daughters-in-law. There were several babies in their car seats on the ground. As I came upon the “scene” a sister who I have known for many years said to me, “Your twins are so beautiful, you must be proud.” I smiled and looked down at one of the twins and said, “He is beautiful isn’t he! It runs in the family!” I gushed! Then I continued on towards class. I hadn’t gotten too far down the hall when I remembered that I had forgotten a manual in the chapel so I turned around and walked back down the hall. As I came upon the same group of young mothers I noticed that “my” twins” were on the opposite side of the hallway where I had just held the conversation with my old friend. She was still standing there and so I walked back over to her and discovered that the baby I had “gushed” over was the child of another young mother in the group. I looked at my friend and then I started to laugh. I said to her, “This isn’t my grandchild.”  She smiled and said, “I knew it wasn’t but…..”

The only thing that makes me feel better about my “mistake” is the story of another grandpa.

“Four-year-old Long Branch Elementary School student Zacari found himself in the home of a different family and in the middle of an unusual mix-up Tuesday, WJXT-TV in Jacksonville reported. After school Tuesday, a grandfather went to Long Branch to pick up his grandson but wound up taking Zacari home by mistake. “I went to his house,”  Zacari told Channel 4. Zacari’s mother, Latoia Gillis, said “They don’t have the same name. They don’t even look alike.” Apparently, to the 77-year-old grandfather, the boy did look like his grandson, and the man put Zacari on his bike and rode home. “We were riding a bicycle, and he had to pick me up and put me in the middle,” Zacari said. “All the way from Long Branch to Main Street on a bicycle with a man who is 77 years old?” Gillis, still in shock. said that when they got to the man’s house, it was the man’s wife who realized the mistake. “She said, ‘You got the wrong kid,'” Zacari said. Back at the school, Zacari’s aunt had come to pick him up and was panicked to learn her nephew was already gone. “I was thinking the worst. I was crying. I was shaking,” said Zacari’s aunt. Fortunately, the man who picked up the 4-year-old was on his way back to the school with an unharmed Zacari.” (AP Nov. 8, 2007).

In my defense the above grandpa’s grandson was 4 years old, mine was less than 3 months at the time! I’m grateful to know that Heavenly Father keeps track of each one of us and knows us by name.  Perhaps it would fair better for me if He did mistake me for someone else. But I think all of us really would prefer to be known for who we really are.  It is wonderful to learn from the scriptures that He does know each of us.  As is taught in Luke, “…even the very hairs of (our) head are numbered.” (Luke 12:7).

I hope my son doesn’t get his feelings hurt when he finds out I didn’t even recognize my own grandchild.  I suspect he will forgive me. But, I will tell you one thing, I never knew that being a grandfather could be so perilous!


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