GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 7

grandfathers
Old, unkempt, confused man
holding baby on couch
I
'm sitting, doing nothing. She plops him in my lap. " I'm picking up his sister at
pre-school. Goodbye. "
She kisses my forehead. Or the baby's forehead. Or both our foreheads. I'm
not sure. I'm in shock.
And babysitting grandma is gone.
Are you sure I can do this? I whisper to nobody because nobody is here but me
and a napping infant. He was born at the beginning of December. Quick figuring
tells me he's around five months old. He's not even six months old. Are you sure I
can do this?
"
The baby is awake. He's surveying the room, probably
searching for someone he knows. I'm petrified.
I haven't had much experience with the new one. I'm great friends with his
sister. We hang out, goof around, get in trouble, and each gets time-outs. With
7 GRAND Summer 2022
"
BY CHUCK NYREN
this one I did have one special moment: a few weeks ago, while bouncing him on
my leg and making faces, he starts laughing. His mother and sister and grandma
run over. " I've never heard him laugh before! " his mother says. " It's the first time! "
I'm a hero. That lasts a day or two until he starts laughing with everybody - and
my impressive feat is forgotten. I never told them that I never thought he actually
laughed. It was gas. He squealed and winced.
The baby hasn't moved. I haven't moved. But I'm not totally out of it, discombobulated.
Yours Truly is well aware this is a Facebook moment. Phone, camera,
point, click. A flash and the caption comes to me in a flash: Old Unkempt
Confused Man Holding Baby On Couch. That should be worth forty or fifty Likes,
Loves, Wows. Anything with a cute kid.
The baby is awake. He's surveying the room, probably searching for someone
he knows. I'm petrified. He'll turn his head and see a scary stranger and scream.
Neighbors will rush over.
He sees me. We stare at one another. I feign a smile. His focus darts every which
way, studying my forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, chin, nose again, eyes again. His
expression is blank. I've seen this blank expression before in babies and German
Shepherds. You have no idea what they're going to do next.
Then there is a grin! A big grin! A huge grin! Eyes beaming, arms and legs flailing,
body bobbling in joy. In fact, that might have even been .... a laugh!
I guess everything will be fine.
Chuck Nyren lives in Snohomish, Washington. He is faux
grandfather to five children, ages not quite six months to almost
sixteen. They have two wonderful full-fledged grandfathers.
Chuck does his best to fill in for the missing ones.
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GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022

contents
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - Cover1
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 2
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 3
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 3A
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - contents
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 5
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 6
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 7
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 8
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 9
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 10
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 11
GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - 12
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GRAND Magazine - Summer 2022 - Cover4
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