Jenny, my son’s partner, gave birth yesterday (July 11, 2009) to a fine baby boy, our first grandchild. What a strange yet wonderful moment this is in their lives, and in ours.
Watching while Jenny instinctively handled the baby I pondered on the connections, the timeline beyond the DNA. For the baby through my son, then me, then my own father, there is a link to the past, and a shared history and memory that stretches back for five generations, to my father’s recollections of his own grandparents. Through the baby I have a distinct, if tenuous, connection to the future, a future I will not necessarily experience but which I will remain a small part of. I am remembered therefore I was, to paraphrase Berkeley.
Our imprint on this world is but a footstep on the ebb shoreline of time: for a brief moment distinct, strong, determined, until the tide comes in. Bon chance young Leon Alex. I hope to share some of that journey with you, to teach you, to learn from you, to hand you back with regret.
That is the Grandfather Clause in this contract.