To be a grandparent

I admit to anticipating being a grandparent and expecting the event to be a grand epiphany. Then it simply happened: in 2012, my eldest gave birth to my first grandson. Such joy! And each grandchild born since — there are now seven — brought gladness every time.

Both my grandfathers were my personal “influencers” in my formative years.

Justina Garcia and Juan B. Cruz Sr., my maternal grandparents

Juan B. Cruz Sr. on my mother side allowed me to do little chores here and there at his poultry farm. I was barely 10 years old then. One of those tasks was to track the layer hens, counting the egg production per bird per day and accurately entering the numbers in a logbook. A retired schoolteacher, he would admonish me with that classroom proverb: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” With him, I began to learn how to balance hard work with recreation.

Victorina Tamayo and Florencio Gavino, my paternal grandparents

I saw less of my paternal grandfather Florencio Gavino. My parents would visit him almost weekly. He would greet me affectionately and then I would go read while he and my parents went on in conversation in Spanish. By profession he was a pharmacist; he was also a violinist and would encourage me with commentary on the classic repertoire as I pursued my own interest in piano. I remember him opining that the Chopin waltzes were most sublime in poetry, hoping that I would be attracted to them as well. My youngest daughter now possesses his beloved violin.

I hope that I would in some way be remembered as well by my seven grandchildren as I do my own grandfathers. I hope that in some way when they have their own families, that they will also think of me as a good influence in their own lives, all things considered.

Teaching my grandson to toss pebbles into the water. The ripples fascinated us.

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