Since Josephine doesn't actually arrive for two months, I wanted her Christmas gifts this year to be highly symbolic. I'm quite pleased -- her first books (a set from Red Envelope called "baby's first library", which includes Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and The Big Red Barn -- classics all, Marian and Lynn assure me); her first recorded music -- a benefit for preschool programs which includes people like Bonnie Raitt, R.E.M., Madonna, the Dixie Chicks, Roseanne Cash, singing children's songs new and old (it's called Mary Had A Little Amp), and a stuffed Figment of the Imagination from our recent trip to DisneyWorld. Figment is a big favorite of mine.
I've often referred to Marian as the great unexpected joy of my life. I pursued her mother fiercely and felt properly rewarded when she finally said yes. But Marian was a part of the deal, whether I wanted her or not, and my friendship over the years with her has been a wonder that has made me a better man. Now, the prospect of grandfatherhood looms. As someone who has always proclaimed, in complete sincerity, no interest in having kids, I am astonished at how much I am looking forward to this. Marian never needed me as her father, and our relationship has matured along other lines, but Josephine will know me only as a grandfather -- and it is one of the blessings of the complicated families of our time that children can have many grandfathers. There are too many wonderful grandfathers roaming the earth for me to proclaim that I'll be the best there ever was, but I can pledge that no other girl has, or will have, a better one.