Being a Grandfather—The Joys and the Lessons Learned

joys and lessons of being a grandfather

I recently became a Grandfather for the first time. I am overjoyed about this but aware that it is not as simple as it seems.

A year ago I became a grandfather for the first time and I am still in a daze about it. It is over thirty years since I became a father. I loved it at the time but I have no desire to go through it again. Being a grandfather is, however, completely different, I am glad to say.

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My Decade of Freedom Before Middle Class Life Drew Me Back

I remembers the 60’s and 70’s, my years of rebellion, and how they ended up in the power of marriage, parenthood and ordinary life.

I left school in 1966 and I am now 66 years old. This seems to me a great reason to celebrate my decade of freedom that started that year, nearly 50 years ago. It was the year The Beach Boys released the album ‘Pet Sounds’, The Doors released their eponymous album and John Lennon met Yoko Ono leading to the end of live concerts by The Beatles and their break-up. The Vietnam War was causing chaos, almost revolution, in America, but it didn’t really enter my consciousness.

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When a Man’s Responsibility Has Gone – What is There Left

Men keep going because their wife, children, colleagues expect them to. They keep going because of the shame of giving up.

I lay under the duvet cover screaming, screaming out loud. I could feel the break coming. I felt helpless and hopeless and I did not know what to do, I did not know how to deal with my wife, with my life. I was lost; as a husband, as a man, as Graham. I knew something was wrong, something more than the clash of brute force and stubbornness, something more than titan struggle that had been going on downstairs. I was so lost I could not even work out what was wrong, I just wanted the world to go away.

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The Crisis of Masculinity in Britain

crisis of masculinity

But have men never been more in touch with their emotions, and more honest about expressing them?

There is a “crisis of masculinity in Britain” because of the pressures rapid economic and social change have placed on masculine identity says Diane Abbott, a senior British Politician. The rise of a “Viagra and Jack Daniels culture” is an indication of the pressure young men are under to live up to “pornified ideals”.

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Authentic Manhood – Have Your Own Standards

How often have you sought the approval of others rather than of yourself? How often have you tried to fit into other people's rules, and found failure? It is time to dance to your own music and succeed.

Everyone has different definitions of success and masculinity. Do not compare yourself to others. You’ll either feel over confident or very disappointed. You are your own set of standards. Sometimes all you need to succeed is the determination to show others what you are capable of. All you need is to have confidence in yourself to fulfil your vision and be happy.

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My Father Was An Angry Man

My sons learned from what I did, not from what I said. They inherited what I learned from my father and he learned from his, to be angry.

My son came back from touring in the UK with his band and came to me for advice. He was a punk drummer at the time, energetic and fast, with his own idiosyncratic life as an artist and musician. His life was sorted out, and he loved what he was doing.

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How To Be A Good Father – Be Engaged

Recently I found myself face to face with the question 'How To Be A Good Father', all because of some girls fascinated with flamenco.

Urmila and I had dinner at ‘El Gaucho’ on Mojacar Playa. It’s a fabulous Argentinian steak house that has live Flamenco on a Friday night. It’s normally full but during August – Spanish holiday month – it’s chaos.

There were at least a dozen 8-10 year old girls in flamenco costumes, with their families. Seeing them all dancing on stage together was not what I went out for!

My eye was caught, however, by the British family at the table next to us. There were the mother and father and three young girls in the 8-10 year age range. What caught my eye was the behaviour, or lack of it, of the father.

He was just not engaged with his daughters, he seemed to leave it all to his wife, that was a mother’s task.

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The Challenge of Being a Modern Man – Can You Cope?

The modern man is in serious trouble and the impact on our society is enormous.

So says GoodSirs in ‘5 Hard Facts You Ought To Know About The Modern Man‘. It goes on to say,

If you know a man being there for his family, pursuing a life worth living, and handling his business, give him a pat on the back. Why? Because according to statistics, guys like that are becoming more and more uncommon in our culture.

I’m sure the statistics are true, as far as any statistics can be true, I am not writing here to challenge them. What I disgaree with is that they describe the modern man. I think that we, as men, are richer than that and that there is more hope than the article allows for. But it is hope that I am writing about not the facts. It is the future that I look to. It is the possibilities in men than give me a vision for the future.

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Getting Old? Absolutely Not!

I refuse to get old and expect to become a cantankerous old man.

My parents-in-law are visiting: it’s their first trip to Spain. They have the resigned look of people waiting for life to fade out. They fit in here, in this seaside town full of English ex-pat pensioners wondering what to do with their lives and their money.

I am just a few months away from becoming an official ‘Old Age Pensioner’ (a UK term for the more gentle US term ‘Senior Citizen’) myself. I will be grateful for the State Pension, having paid into it my whole working life, but I don’t feel old. I am the same age as many of the tired people I see in ‘Koi’, my favourite cafe, but I feel as I’m from a different planet.

I am overweight and find hill-walking difficult. I no longer run, perhaps more through laziness. My hair is white and I enjoy more rest than I used to. I need glasses to read but I don’t feel my body failing. I don’t see age sucking me down into its abyss. I don’t think about death or what might have been.

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