Carnes: A stage worth waiting for | VailDaily.com

Carnes: A stage worth waiting for

It had been so long since I had done the act, I wasn’t sure if I could do it again.

That face.

So cute, so innocent, so damn helpless.

I knew what to do, how to do it, but still, there was a nagging feeling of insecurity when it came to the necessary (yet gross) procedures required for such an important task.

What if I did it wrong?

What if I messed it up, not only embarrassing myself and those I deeply care for, but also causing levels of misery not witnessed since the Broncos’ latest last-minute loss?

So I took a deep breath, reached deep into my male DNA, and smartly handed him over — ever so gently — to his mother, my delightful daughter-in-law.

Hell, I’m a grandparent now, I don’t need to change no stinkin’ diaper.

Hence the latest chapter in Carnes Family history began barely a week ago, as our oldest and his wife welcomed their first child, a 21-inch, 7.5-pound beautiful baby boy named Tatum McKinney Carnes.

Hooray, we’re old?

After a short eight-and-half-hour drive through the first real blizzard of the season, we finally were able to hold the little man when he was about 48 hours old, and it was worth every white-knuckled turn between here and Utah.

An entirely new level of love presented itself, and I admit we (me and “grandma,” but don’t you dare call her that) weren’t entirely prepared, at least mentally. This grandparent thing is different, but I haven’t been one long enough to really come to grips with what it is and what it is not.

It IS a sudden return to an overwhelming feeling of responsibility, but it is NOT having to lose sleep at night to support the new momma bear.

That’s the new papa bear’s job.

It IS a perfect opportunity to buy them “stuff,” but it is NOT a requirement to do so.

Should we establish his 529 College fund, or how about a term-life insurance policy? Maybe take a risk on the latest IPO or a tax-free mutual fund?

Wait, would that mean we have to do it for all subsequent grandkids?

Perhaps we should just stick with clothes and toys and all sorts of crap they’ll never really need. I view this as the luxury version of parenting, sort of a second chance to make a first impression with one of your own (though somewhat indirectly), but if our kids were rainbows, then this grandson is the pot o’ gold at the end.

Besides, what is this “spoiling” thing of which so many of you speak?

Anyway, think about it, this sweet little boy actually has a good chance of living into the 22nd century.

Whoa.

And not to be too deep, but what about the inevitable philosophical concerns over what kind of world he faces?

I mean, our son survived our parenting, but will his son survive climate change, a divided nation and even more “Fast & Furious” sequels?

Will he enjoy flying cars, quantum computers and cell phones embedded beneath our palms?

I suppose only time will tell, but I do know this stage in life was without a doubt worth waiting for.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at poor@vail.net.