Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Grandfather Clause

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.

1 comment:

A Shout from Copenhagen said...

Welcome to this world, Leon Alex!
And warm congratulations to the parents, the grandparents, and all the extended family! You, my boy, will have a distant Danish-American-Irish cousin named Leo Rye-Kennedy, whose grandfather will always remember your grandfather's generous attention to his writings. A bond between Galway and Copenhagen!