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Posted: January 8, 2012 12:00 a.m.

The New Grandfather Syndrome

Your parakeet may be the only one who noticed, but I didn't write my column last week. I'd planned to offer some snappy New Year's resolutions, but I procrastinated and the next thing I knew, my first grandson - Daniel Christopher McCoy - was on his way, and I was off to the hospital to meet him. Yep, I'm a grandfather now, and my whole life is changing. I was expecting to be able to handle this title with ease, but being a grandfather is more powerful and transformative than I knew. If you have grandkids, you'll relate to what I'm about to tell you. If you're a parrot, just enjoy the fresh paper in your cage.

Being a grandfather means I'm officially "old." I guess that explains why I just bought a cardigan. I didn't even know what I was doing. I saw it, and said, "Ooooh! A button up sweater! That'll keep me nice and warm. It looks so much more practical than the pullover sweaters I've worn since I was five." Only old people know about cardigans. Only really old people buy cardigans. Well, I'm a grandfather now, and I'm perfectly fine with being old and warm in a comfy cardigan.

Being a grandfather also means I can act peculiar and get away with it. Right after Daniel was born, I mistyped the password on my iPhone, and it vibrated and said, "Wrong Passcode." Incredibly, I mumbled back at it, "I know it's wrong. I was seeing if you knew!" Normally, that little conversation would have me questioning my sanity. Well, I'm not nuts. I'm a grandfather. There is a difference. I think.

Finally, being a grandfather means your tastes change. While walking by a store, I saw a riding toy shaped like an insect. You sit on it, hold its antennas, and scoot around the floor. I wanted it - for Daniel. Before becoming a grandfather, I wouldn't have bought a riding insect, even if Ferrari made it and the bug came with a free cup of espresso and a biscotti. But, I'm a grandfather now, so bring on the wheeled crickets and worms.

That's just how it is. I have a beautiful new grandson who melts my heart. He makes me talk back to my phone, buy wool cardigans and lust after riding insects. I'm not crazy; I'm a grandfather. There is a difference. I think.

David McCoy, a self-proclaimed Southern-Gentleman and Raconteur-in-Training lives in Covington with his family.

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