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September 3, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Changing Parental Roles

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Today's song is I Only Have Eyes For You by The Flamingos, released in 1959.

Yesterday I returned from a nine-day trip to Chicago. I went to see my granddaughter for the first time and hold her in my hands. The bonding between she and I is now in effect. My wife, Sherry was in Chicago for a month helping out. She arrived the day Jenny went into labor. It was perfect timing for Sherry, she helped out a lot, I'm told.

I had a chance to watch the mother-daughter-granddaughter relationship in action over several days. It is a relationship built on love and understanding. I am proud of Sherry and Jenny for working so well together.

My daughter is adapting well to being a new mother. Her husband, Michael, helps out a lot too. Michael and I spent many hours talking and laughing about many things. We had a couple serious talks about fatherhood during my stay. He's a great guy!

On Saturday, August 26, 2006, Sherry and I attended the wedding for the daughter of our best friends, Angel and Linda Rodriguez. We attended the wedding ceremony of April and Jason in the Catholic church and a beautiful reception later in the evening at the Sheraton Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. At the wedding, I watched Angel walk April down the aisle and he wept as he kissed her as she turned to take her vows. I was weeping too, recalling how it was for me when I handed my daughter off to Michael back in April 2000.

Angel was handing April off to a wonderful young man, an Orthopedic Doctor, serving in the Naval Reserves as a Lieutenant. Jason wore his Navy Dress Whites at the church. April, beautiful as ever, wore a lovely white gown. April and Jason exchanged their vows up there at the alter, anyone could see they were completely in love with one-another. A few tears flowed down my face as watched them. I wasn't alone.

Between 200 and 300 people attended the reception. It was an excellent event from all perspectives. The above image was an ice display of the Chicago downtown skyline outside the recption area. April and Jason live in one of the penthouse suites near the Gold Coast area of Chicago, so the display was fitting for the city they love. I danced with Sherry a few times. I chatted with people I haven't seen in almost twenty or more years. It was a memorable occasion for me.

On Monday night, August 28, 2006, I met my friend and author, Bob Katzman. We had dinner at Seven Brothers Restaurant and discussed our book ideas and life philosophies. We encourage each other to write about our lives openly and without reservation. The several hours we spent at the table that night left their indelible impression on me. Thanks, Bob.

On Wednesday, August 30, 2006, Sherry and I rented a car and drove to the southern suburbs to visit with my brother and our other best friends, Bill and Lil Artus. We gathered for dinner at the Lansing Country Club and spent several hours talking and telling stories about lives over the years. We laughed at the stories about Rusty and I growing up at home.

Earlier that day, we drove to the historic Pullman Homes area on the South-side of Chicago, where Sherry lived until she was about ten years old. She lived in the upper two floors of the building shown below.

I then drove Sherry through the East Side of Chicago and we arrived at Bob and Jack's Pizza for a snack. There are two dining requirements for home-grown Chicagoans, decent cheese-and-sausage pizza and White Castle hamburgers. During this last trip, we accomplish both tasks twice. :-)

I enjoyed my time in Chicago with my family and friends. It will be interesting to hear from Angel and Linda about how their daughter adjusts to a wonderful married life.

I had a chance to experience grandparenting first-hand and found it cool! The new dynamics of being a grandparent for both Sherry and I are challenging in some ways.

The next year is full of expectations and dreams yet to be realized. The parental roles continue to evolve for all concerned. The Circles of Life go on.


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