I found this story in my computer tonight, nearly 4 years old already. I have to post it on the blog before it get’s lost.
I gave this speech in August 2006 at a Toastmasters meeting. It was supposed to be a touching story and apparently it was. Two women in the audience started to cry.
As a father of little babies I sang them little songs, danced with them and fell asleep with my babies lying on my chest. But I never told my working buddies about this.
As a young father I played with my little girls, tea parties, feeding baby dolls, having my hair done up and my toe nails painted. But again, I never told my working buddies about this.
When my girls were born, I stayed home with my wife and newborn baby for a week or so, trying hard to be helpful. But again, I never told my guy friends about this side of Teddy.
For years if I showed any compassion toward anything, or displayed the feminine side of my personality – I would deny it or hide it from my buddies.
You can’t be a rough, tough, beer drinking, cigar smoking, pool-playing guy if you act the slightest bit soft.
Now it may not seem apparent, but I am nearly 50 years old now.
For those of you who don’t know it – I have 4 daughters, 2 son-in-laws and 1 Grand Daughter – Amanda.
As I have gotten older I have always strived to stick to this persona – “I am a grumpy old Man, I love being a Grumpy Old Man and I don’t want to be anything but a grumpy old man!” But Now I’m a Grand Dad
For those of you who are not Grand Parents, Quasi Adoptive or Stand In Grand Parents – It’s a different world & it will Change YOU!
I have been changed – I am a different Man now – Let me tell you how.
I will never forget the night my grand daughter was born.
While waiting in the waiting room my wife was upstairs in the delivery room with our daughter and her husband.
Finally after what seemed like forever, my cell phone rang. It was my wife.
She was in the little bathroom next to the delivery room – she was nearly screaming at me – “She’s a Girl, It’s a Girl – She’s beautiful. Too bad you can’t see her.”
When I finally got into the delivery room, I admit I had a tear of excitement rolling down my cheek.
My daughter was holding a little tiny baby blanket with what looked like a little doll in it.
Oscar, my son in law was beaming with pride as he nodded his head with a kind of “Look – look at my daughter” kind of a gesture.
My wife looked like she had been crying with excitement as she wielded the digital camera and cell phone camera around the room.
As I got closer to my daughter I could see better – There she was – Amanda Lee Alonzo – My grand daughter.
Dark brown eyes, lots of black hair and a cute little button nose – just like her daddy’s.
I begged Jessie & Oscar to let me hold her. That was a great moment.
I’m telling you right now – When you become a grand pa – it changes your life.
Today Amanda, or Mandy or Manda Panda Bear as we call her is 3 ½ yrs old. She amazes us daily with more and more cute things.
She loves to dance, sing, paint beautiful art and play with all of the toys my wife kept from when we had little kids at home.
But by far the best thing she has ever done is to name Becky and I – her American grand parents.
We all know of grandfather names like – Grand Pa, PoPop, Gramps, etc.
And grandmother names like Nana, Grandma, MeMaw, Granny, etc.
Amanda has come up with a pair of names that I have never heard of before.
My wife is Bum & I am Boppy.
Since Mandy could utter names like Mommy, Daddy, kitty and dog – she has been calling us Bum & Boppy.
And – I don’t think I would want any other name.
Another neat thing about my grand daughter is PICO.
When Amanda was about 4 or 5 months old her mommy and Daddy taught Mandy to give them a kiss by saying, “Give me a Pico”
Every time Jessie & Oscar brought Mandy over they told her to “Give Bum a Pico hello” or they would say “Give Boppy a Pico hello.”
They did the same thing when leaving “Give Boppy a Pico Goodbye”, “Give Bum a Pico Goodbye.”
I learned quickly to give Mandy a kiss hello or a kiss good by saying “Give Boppy a Pico”
One day I went to work and told my buddies there that I knew a new Spanish word – Pico meant Kiss. One of my Spanish-speaking buddies told me that Kiss in Spanish was really Beso (spell it)
When I got a chance later that day, I called my daughter and asked her how to say Kiss is in Spanish – she said Beso.
I asked her what Pico was – she told me it was a pet word for Kiss that Oscar came up with when Amanda was first born.
Today Mandy is 3 ½ and we still get a Pico hello when she comes over.
Amanda lived with Bum and I for almost a year while her Daddy was out of the country.
Trying to stick to my Grumpy Old Man persona, I stuck to the statement that I would not change diapers.
I have already raised 4 daughters and I was done with the diaper thing.
But – I did just about everything else. I fed her, rocker her to sleep, played dolls with her, sang to her and let her fall asleep on my chest in the recliner.
I felt like a Dad with a baby again. I hated to say good bye to her every morning, and I couldn’t wait to get home at night to see her.
It was great to walk in the door at the end of a crazy day at work and as soon as Mandy heard me come in she would come running to the hall yelling – “Boppy’s Home, Boppys Home.” And I would reach down to her, pick her up and give her a Pico.
Now Amanda and her parents live in their own home.
Amanda knows how to use the cell phone to call Bum & Boppy and we talk to her 4 or 5 times a week.
She calls us and asks us how our day was. We talk about her books her cat and her toys.
I send email to Amanda with funny pictures and jokes that a 4 year old understands.
Folks – Let me repeat – being a Grandpa has changed me significantly.
I am no longer bashful telling anyone that I am a blessed man.
I am proud of my 4 beautiful daughters and my beautiful wife.
I boldly share pictures of my family with anyone who asks, or acts as if they are about to ask.
I’m still a grumpy old man, love being a grumpy old man and will always be a grumpy old man, but now – I’m Amanda’s Boppy – and proud of it.
Now you know Boppy.