It’s Brooks Archer Rothermel Time! Last weekend, Hannah and I drove nearly 400 miles to Ithaca, New York to meet and greet our new grandson for the first time. FaceTime has been a valuable introduction to the little guy while we were home in Maine, but we are looking forward to some personal face time with our grandson. (You see what I did!)
On our first afternoon, Brooks basically slept, peeped a little to be fed, opened his eyes to look at Hannah and me with a WTF sweet look of contentment, and slept some more.
I have ten thoughts after time with Brooks and his world-is-going-to-be-rocked (in a good way) parents Will and Laurel.
From now on, their lives are no longer on East Coast time, but on Brooks Time. Things will take longer, the unexpected will become expected, and if they are late, they have one really beautiful reason why.
Though Brooks has slept reasonably well for his first three weeks, it’s often in two to four hour periods. He’s a baby. That’s what they do. That said, there still lie a lot of up-in-the-night nights for Will and Laurel. If our experience is any indication, Will and Laurel will be more tired than they have ever been in 2018.
Ever since June 24, 2018, Will and Laurel smile a lot, really beam.
They’ll be reading very little John Grisham. These are some of the titles on their coffee table – , The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary (a personal favorite of mine), Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get Both of You Through the Next 9 Months by John Pfeiffer, and The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp.
I don’t think it odd that Hannah and my youngest child, Will, is a parent. It’s time. Will is ready, willing, and able for the joy and for the challenge. His gentle, loving, caring nature is made for this opportunity. Brooks will be learning from a master how to mow the lawn and hit a 280 yard drive. On the other hand, Hannah and I will teach him how to dink and hit the third shot in pickleball.
Parenting for the first time is tough enough; and then they will be asked to learn on the fly and do it while they are as tired as they have ever been.
During the first two weeks of Brooks life, Will and Laurel were so pleased to get three hours of sleep at a time. Sleepless nights will come, this is when the strength of their marriage will be evident. From Maine, the marriage looks good and strong!
This is a note for all grandfathers – change diapers. Pop, you are a big boy. You can do it! It would be easy for me to let Hannah jump up to change Brooks’s poopy diapers. But if I do, I miss out on this opportunity to really help out and connect with Brooks. Let me report, I got down and dirty at changing time on multiple occasions.
I felt over-the-moon happy when Laurel handed me a fussy Brooks after she fed him. Seated at a stool at their kitchen island, I successfully helped the little guy mellow out as I rocked him and let him suck on his binky (i.e., pacifier). He fell asleep for an hour. Is this how rockstars feel?
Will and Laurel are getting a crash course in the value of a well-timed nap (which is anytime Brooks is asleep!).
Hannah and I know how fortunate we are to have healthy grandson with these two parents in our lives. They don’t live in Arizona or California or even Virginia. They are just six hours away. As retired folks, Hannah and I can be an active part in Brooks’ life.
They’ll do fine, some bumps, some jolts, lots of joy. Hannah and I are so pleased to be along for the ride.