If you haven’t been within earshot of me recently, you might not know that I recently became a grandfather. This milestone sparked some thoughts on the term.
Grossvater (gros’ fatr) means grandfather in German. One can only imagine the difficulty when an infant attempts to pronounce it correctly. It rarely happens.
So, I presume, somewhere down the line, a frustrated child blurted out the word “Opa.” It stuck. Opa is now widely used across Germanic peoples as the shortened form of Grossvater.
Last December, my two dearest German friends sent me a greeting, “Happy Opa, Brad!!!” to congratulate me on becoming a grandfather for the first time. My son Ben, and his wife Libbie bore a new daughter into the family, the first child in the next generation. Wow.
Georg, one of my German brothers, asked me how it feels. These words crept into my consciousness:
“I wish I had words. All I know is that, as I held this tiny little girl, the first of the next generation, I felt an amazing connection to those who passed before and to those who will come in the future. Joy is still overflowing in my heart.”
What is it about grandchildren that drives full-grown adults gaga? With a field full of older friends, I have watched each one succumb to grandparent fever.
They require others to look at stacks of photos. They excessively purchase every imaginable piece of child paraphernalia. They talk baby talk in public. Yuck.
Yet I, holding this now addictive child, have discovered the need to indulge. I can’t get enough of her. Time races by as I stare dumbly into her face. Any sound, gesture, blink, sprinkle or toot must be divinely inspired. The more I observe her, the more I enjoy her.
The Lord has granted me yet another glimpse into His mentality.
Ⓒ Revolworks 2019