I am doing something very unorthodox here. I’m letting someone write a post on my blog and I haven’t even read it! It’s true! My father-in-law Woody asked if he could use the platform of Somebody’s Parents to write. This was his Christmas wish. I promised to publish this without reading it first. When ya’ll read it. So will I.
So without further ado I present my guest blogger and father-in-law, Woody.
My Christmas Gift
I am “Somebody’s” paternal grandfather. Her grandmother and I got to spend an early, last minute, spur of the moment Christmas with Charlotte and her parents last weekend (December 15 and16). Since we hadn’t seen Charlotte in almost a year we were concerned on how long it would take her to warm up to us. We knew she wouldn’t know who we were; we have only seen her 3 times before and as I said not in a year. Our first surprise was that she called us by name when we walked in the door. “Somebody’s Parents” had been thoughtful enough to make sure that either through pictures or an occasional Skype she put a name with our faces. Within 15 0r 20 seconds she was in our arms and giving us hugs. Over two days we were astonished about how well behaved, articulate, aware, bright, loving, caring, curious, and cute our 2 year old granddaughter is. She loves books and cuddling, she behaves at restaurants as well as at home and she at least tries the food set in front of her. She is really just about perfect in every way. She shares both her Grandma Brenda’s pixie look and her other grandmother, DeeDee Davis’s impish look. Was that my special Christmas gift? Kind of, but not really. It took me a couple hours on the flight home to realize what the real gift was.
To explain I have to go back about 20 years. I was in New Jersey working on a bank merger. I was at the height of my career. I was a go getter. I could negotiate better than any other lawyer in the country. I could wow my clients with my brilliance. But I worked in tandem with a young woman associate lawyer who paid attention to the details and provided calmness for the effected employees that was essential to providing the continuity to allow the deal to do through. So after about a 14 hour day she dropped a bombshell on me. She was pregnant and unless we (I) could find a way to allow her to work part time and be a mother part time she was going to have to quit. Knowing where my bread was buttered I approached my partners (all male) with a plan which was adopted (not by reason but by force of personality) which through a lot of hard work by me and my female associate (and eventual partner) became the pathway for other female attorneys in my firm. But despite my crusade for the rights of women, I never really believed that a woman could be both a full time professional and a full time mother without either her clients or her family being somehow slighted.
So now I have to deal with the reality of Amy. As long as she had been my son’s wife she has been a more-than-full time career woman. And since she has been “Somebody’s” parent she has been a remarkable parent. Until last Monday, flying from Raleigh to Denver I didn’t think any woman was capable of this. So how did she pull it off? First of all and most importantly she actually allowed my son to be a full partner in the parenting role. While spending time with “Somebody” I could see the distinct results of both of their efforts and the best attributes of each of them apparent in Charlotte’s development. In addition to Greyson, she has been more than willing to allow family, day care providers and friends share in the glory of raising Charlotte. I have the gift of having a daughter-in-law (no, a daughter) who is the most open and honest person I have ever come in contact with. If you need proof just read her blog. She openly acknowledges her fears and her shortcomings and with a strong faith and even stronger determination deals with them. She is truly a remarkable person.
At some time during Greyson and Amy’s wedding festivities one of Greyson’s groomsmen pointed out that he and Greyson did much better than they were supposed to. The statement was clearly directed at the physical beauty of their respective spouses. I laughed it off because I knew my son deserved someone special. But until my flight home last Monday, I didn’t realize how special that someone was.
So my Christmas gift was not Amy; she has been part of my life several years. My special Christmas gift was my realizing how very special Amy really is. I am sorry it took so long to finally sink in but I am glad it did. I love you Amy.