As human beings we like to emphasise the importance of dates in our lives. 27 April 1994 has become one of the important dates in our history, think about the importance and role 16 June is playing and now recently the magical date of 11 June 2010.
Even I have dates in my life that personally stand out for me. There are too many to mention and it would not be fair to place them in sequence of priority. Suffice to say that each and everyone cherish such personal dates. 5 June 2010 recently was added to my endless list of important dates I cherish. I became a Granddad for the first time in my life! So what, welcome to the club some would say. But for me it had that something extra, something special. I always dreamt of the day I also would become a Granddad but never in my wildest dreams had I thought it would be such a life changing experience!
And to put the cherry on top – it was twins – both beautiful boys. It had nothing to do with the exhilaration of being a Granddad and for that matter for the first time ever. It was something beyond that. Something that the human being would never be able to fathom. Looking back in retrospection, I still cannot put my finger on it, but it was there.
I was on my way to work and my wife was still in bed, recuperating from an operation when my son informed us of the good news. We were over the moon, naturally. After hugging each other, making plans to go and see our first time ever grandchildren and informing all the family, reality struck.
Since my son broke the good news nine months ago we were in seventh heaven. Our family were celebrating with us. Maybe some of them kept quiet not to burst our bubble. Then for the first time we realised they kept quiet out of politeness because after we informed them of the twins’ arrival, the email message from a family member as part of his congratulations “now we [as family]must get the Mom and Dad married” did burst my bubble in a sense. Yes, Mom and Dad are not married. They live together, they love each other. Yes, we are conservative people. Yes, we tried our level best to give our children a conservative upbringing. Irrespective of my conservative outlook on life, I also accepted that we live in an ever changing society where morals and morality on a daily basis are changing and shifting. So one day after informing us that he found the love of his life they moved in together. We knew that we were living in the age of experimental partnerships, test driving marriage together before “buying the wedding licence”.
If I thought I was conservative you should have seen my wife. But with the love only a mother knows about and can experience, she accepted these experimental things and embraced both with her love I became use to over the past 31 years.
Sometimes in the preceding nine months there was a nagging voice at the back of my head, trying to tell me the scenario was wrong. Fortunately this nagging voice could never convince me to judge them. What ever my conservative outlook on life, whatever my prudish upbringing of my children was I could never judge them according to my norms and values.
Another voice was also nagging at the back of my head – “judge and you will be judged”. Fortunately this voice won the battle. So when I received that message about the two that should marry I decided there and then that this was a matter the new Mom and Dad should make out for themselves. This was not a family matter. This was now a matter between two young people in love who was bonded together by not one, but two gifts from the Upper Hand. Two young people who overnight became adults and who made an adult choice and who will live with that choice for the rest of their lives.
We rushed to hospital and after the customary exchanges of pleasantries and best wishes the new Dad was much too eager to show me the twins. And there in the clinical tranquillity of the baby room looking down on the two little ones in the incubators I embraced my son the first time in many years and together we cried and then looking at the perfectly sculptured new born babies I again realised that when an Upper Hand decides to create life, how can we as human beings question it and judge each other. And for the first time I saw and acknowledged the fact that my son was no longer the little boy I thought he was. He was now a man. And the words of Kipling were rushing through my head “you will be a man my son”.
It is strange that that it took me 27 years to know my son as I was suppose to know him and for the first time in the same many years we bonded as friends together. A bond that should have been established 27 years ago in the maternity ward where my son was born. But one of the lessons of life is that we must not cry over spilt milk.
There in the clinical tranquillity of the baby room of the hospital some Power beyond comprehension gave me the second chance and strength to embrace and bond with my son. It also gave me the confidence and guts to cry with my son – not over spilt milk this time but over new lives and a new lease on life.
Afterwards, walking back with my wife to the car I knew I did not became must older in a few hours time but definitely much wiser and happier!