GOTY? Maybe next year

Published 8:08 pm Saturday, February 12, 2011

With two major deadlines behind me this weekend, I have begun looking forward to a bit of a break. A quick Super Bowl trip to Massachusetts — where the snow is hip-deep — gave me my fill of winter weather, and I’m thinking of heading somewhere the temperatures are warmer and there are colors other than brown, gray and white.

It’s always this way for me as February turns to March. Because of special deadlines, extra projects and unusual commitments, the period from Thanksgiving through February is a particularly hard one in the newspaper business, and when it’s over I’m usually looking for a place to catch my breath once again.

My wife has been around me long enough to know this, and she always saves some vacation days for us to take a long weekend at the Outer Banks or Florida or someplace where I can fall asleep in the sun for a while.

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This year, though, it appears that things will be a bit different. This year, we have another grandchild on the way — due in March — and Grandma is bound and determined to be on hand for the birth. The vacation will have to wait, as some things are more important.

Annette was so excited when her daughter called to ask if she’d like to be in the room for the birth. When the offer was put to me, however, I was a bit more reserved.

“Umm, no,” I said. “Thanks. Get the kid cleaned up and enrolled in preschool, and then I’ll drop by.”

Whoops, there goes another shot at the Grandpa of the Year award.

But seriously, I can’t think of a single good reason to be in that room during the blessed event. Nobody there will need my help. And I don’t need to be haunted by any of the traumatic images I’d be likely to see there.

I would be more useful at a convention of particle physicists than in the birthing room. At least I could doze off as the physicists were discussing their equations and formulas. On the other hand, something about screams of agony nearby always keeps me awake.

Because of the nature of such things, we are, of course, not sure exactly when our new granddaughter will be born. But I’m pretty sure I’ve got plans that day.

And don’t even get me started on the whole diaper thing. I take great pride in the fact that I’m a grandpa who, as a result of having no children of my own, has never changed a diaper. It would be a shame to ruin that great run.

I’ll guess I’ll just have to try for Grandpa of the Year again next year. One of these days, maybe I’ll get it right.