Saturday, August 26, 2006

Joy and Papa

Papa is my dad. I call him Dad, not Papa. Papa is his grandfather name. He just so happened to be the first person in our family to hold Joy when she was born. So the reader isn't grossed out, I sent dad out of the delivery room one minute, Joy was born and named, Dad came in the next minute and held Joy. What I remember saying (I was completly looped out on the drug of the day) as I looked at how sweet it was that my favorite dad in the whole world was gently holding our new baby was, "Dad, can I hold her now? I think I'm getting a little jealous."

Something magical happened between the two of them in that moment.

Which is partly why I faded the background in the painting. The focus of the painting is what's happening between a grandfather and his grandaughter. He's not just reading a book, he's holding my daughter. For a moment she's still, relaxed in Papa's arms. His strong hands are protecting Joy behind a picture book, and Joy is so relaxed that she's sucking her thumb. For any father to sit in a living room and read a silly book to his grandchild is a beautiful wonderful event. For my dad to read to sweet Joy is a cherished memory.

The initial jealousy at seeing Sarah Joy in my dad's arms in the hospital all those years ago has long since departed. In it's place is assurance that Papa and Joy share a generousity of spirit that infects us all. And in quiet moments, when the two of them are together, everything else fades away.

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