Today is March 1, and you know what that means, don't you?
Spring? No, that is still several weeks away, although we have enjoyed the mildest winter in recent memory here in the Midwest. The fateful Ides of March? No, Julius. It is still safe to go to the forum and enjoy maybe one last toga party with Cassius and Brutus. Easter? Not that either. The bunny is not set to hop until April this year.
In our family at least, when we change the calendar page today, we herald the arrival of The Month of Beenie. Before we turn over another one, our fourth grandchild (and first child of son Teebo and his wife) should be kicking around in a less confined space and exercising his brand new lungs. The red letter day is March 27.
So, Teebo, you best brace yourself. If Beenie is anything like you, you should buy stock in a sporting goods business. If this boy gets the ballgame gene, the toy box needs to contain an ample variety of spherical objects that can be thrown, hit, caught, shot, bounced, dribbled, kicked, and otherwise moved from Point A to Point B. You should update your tackle box too. He descends from a long line of fishermen, this boy of yours, not the least of whom was his Great-Grandma Florence.
Now, a word of advice to Beenie's mama: sleep now. This may be your last chance to do so for a long, long time. Take these last few weeks to enjoy an uninterrupted meal with mashed potatoes that are still hot. And down the road, make a note to yourself to watch what he takes with him to school. His father had his first-grade picture taken with Alf. I was the laughingstock of the Christmas card network that year, and I have never really been the same since.
To both of you: your lives are about to change immeasurably. Your relationship will deepen in a way you could never have imagined. You will never know a more awesome responsibility that to take this little boy and help him carve out a place for himself in this world. You won't be able to save him from disappointment and heartache, but you can teach him about the comfort of unconditional love.
This is a most difficult job, but Pa-pa and I are here to help you. We've been here before. We have turned over many calendar pages. We are delighted to see that The Month of Beenie is here.