For those of you who don't know yet, being a grandparent is a great joy and honor. But the responsibility, I will have you know is enormous and it's not suited for the faint of heart.
It begins when you are officially notified that your daughter or daughter-in-law is pregnant - Mazel Tov!
After feeling the vibes of happiness/ecstasy for awhile (or a long while) it’s time to get to work- no time to waste.
First thing on the agenda is coming up with the exact title you are to be referred to by the little one who was just created. So you thought this is easy? Think again. Cantor Lee for example was agonizing with the issue for many months. She went through any possible two syllable combinations in seventy two languages and then with some strange combinations of her own - no deal.
So I came to her with help suggesting “Babushka” or even “Baba” That's when I learned it's not such a good idea to give such suggestions to my wife when she is struggling with such earth shattering matters.
While I didn't fare any better, my repertoire of possible names was somewhat less inclusive. “Grandpa”? Na, it's so Passe. "Zaide?" What? Now I really cross the Israeli line of pride and decency. If I give myself a Yiddish title, my Dad, may he rest in peace, would roll over in his grave. Only a Hebrew name would do. “Zaide” was not even in the running.
What finally got the nomination was the natural choice which would honor any Israeli grandfather. “Saba”- grandfather in Hebrew it would be.
Owen, my now three year old grandson, learned quite quickly that “Saba David”, the final canonized version of my title - is a very worthwhile item to commit to memory and invoke as often as possible. His cousin Skyler, my 16 month old was not too far behind in this realization.
You see, human babies are born with a specific DNA implant sequence which determines the golden grandparent rules. These include: Saba will never say no to you. Saba will get you any toy you want. He will do anything for you and will be ready to play on a second’s notice including roll on the carpet, become a cat, a dog, a lion, a car, a monkey (yes- a monkey) - whatever the play of the moment is. Oh, yes, arthritis or any old back, neck, shoulder injuries are absolutely no excuse to wiggle yourself out of your playing duty.