Tuesday, May 8th: I’m on my way to Las Vegas for the birth of my first grandchild. I’ve been preparing for this forever and have tried not to project about how I’ll feel when I first see her. Every grandparent talks about what a unique and overwhelming experience having a grandchild is, and I’m getting excited to find out if that’s true. And now that the birth is imminent I find myself filled with expectations of this event.
Reflections: I remember seeing my daughter for the first time, and even though there have been countless shared experiences since then, that first vision is the one I remember the most. The many things that have gone on since that first day now make up the composite images of our life together. Everyone tells me that grandchildren are different from children and I guess I’m going to find out if that’s true or not soon enough.
Fast forward 24 hours: Olive Natalie Lewis, 8.3 lbs. was born at 6:52am today (May 10) – mother and baby are doing great; the new grandfather, however, is a bit wobbly. The first picture my son-in-law sent immediately after the birth, and the baby’s name, got me all choked up – and now I’m sitting and waiting to see and hold her for the first time. My wife and our son-in-law’s family are here as well, and if the talk among us is any indication, this kid is not going to want for love and affection. This just keeps getting better.
Fast forward another 2 hours: So now I’ve held my granddaughter, and frankly, it was not easy letting her go. Funny how swaying and bouncing comes back so naturally, but the real surprise for me was how in love I was at first sight. Her cheeks, the fuzzy hair on her head and ears, her little fingers, that cute cap they give newborns – it’s all there and pulling on my heart. And I know what they say: it’s easy to give a grandchild back and know they’re someone else’s worry and responsibility; but in reality that’s too simplistic. This little girl is our next generation, the link from years ago to the future; she’s the one I want to make sure develops the values that have led to today and will tie us all to tomorrow.
And in that instant when I first held her, I knew she’d be winning hearts and making an impact from this day forward. Oh baby, it’s so great to meet you; welcome to our world!
My message this week is all about how the best among us choose to live their lives:
“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”
-Richard Buckminster Fuller
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983) was an American systems theorist, architect, engineer, author, designer, inventor, and futurist. He published more than 30 books, inventing and popularizing terms such as "Spaceship Earth", “ephemeralization”, and “synergetic”.
What’s the essence of your success? Hopefully you’ve lived a fairly long and productive life, and along the way you got to see, hear and experience many things: a loving and nurturing family that watched over and shaped your early development, some interesting school and learning years with teachers who tried to excite you with knowledge, a career working with smart and interesting people who were driven and committed to producing quality things, and a community of diverse and passionate people who were and continue to be into all kinds of things. But at the end of the day, the most important thing you hopefully were able to learn from each of them was not what to do, or how to do it, but rather how you should approach all of the things you do. And that’s more about attitude than aptitude, more about the will than the want, and all about the why versus the what. If you approach everything with a commitment to doing what’s right, then you’ll be more successful than if you don’t; because integrity is the essence of everything successful.