The phone rang one day and there was another young couple looking for one of my sisters to babysit so they could have a night out.

My oldest sister Debby had long since moved out and my sister Stacie was out on a date with her soon to be husband Bob.  My mother told the couple that neither of my sisters was available.  I asked my mother, “Hey, how about me?”  I talked it over with my mother and my services were offered.  It was my first baby sitting job.

My rationale was simple.  I had spent time watching my brother who is six years younger than I am.  How hard could it be to watch TV while little children slept?  After mowing lawns, cutting firewood, making maple syrup and stacking lumber I was sure I could handle it.  It would be the easiest money I ever made.

And I was right.  I became a regular baby sitter for a couple of local families and I loved it.  I even liked playing with them, crawling around on the floor, playing horsey (they would ride on my back) and the whole bit. 

My childhood never really allowed me to be a child because all we did was work.  And my father frowned on play time because nothing that helped family survival came of it.  But I still wanted to play and babysitting was a welcome outlet. And it got me out of the house to boot.  I loved that freedom.

Having children of my own was a no-brainer.  I have been blessed by three and can say that I still like to play.  I am and always will be a big kid at heart.

My oldest son and his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl about two weeks ago.  Being the father of the father put me somewhat down the list of visitors but none-the-less plans were made and here I am spending the weekend with them getting to know my grand-daughter.

I must admit my excitement was very minimal until I got here and could not wait to hold her for the first time.  I lit up like a Christmas tree and people that know me best even commented that I was smiling (which I rarely do, especially in photos) and that I was in my glory. 

And indeed I am.  All of the years of watching children and having my own has come rushing back and made me feel child-like excitement all over again.  The joy is real.

The joy and happiness is palpable in this home.  My son and his wife are very happy and I can’t remember the last time I have seen my son smile this much (wonder where he gets that from).  Seeing my son play with his daughter brings me a warmth from head to toe.  I now get to call him son and dad. If you have little babies in your life give me a thumb up!

One thing I don’t miss. Diaper time!