Beyond words

Regan and Rory (Photo by Charlie Sojka)

Some joys are exquisite beyond description.

Our daughter gave birth to a baby girl, Aurora Louise Johnson-Sojka, on September 13. Mother and baby are both doing well. The latest (and probably last) of our six grandchildren, Rory weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces at birth. I’m thinking: potential to hit with power from both sides of the plate.

In the troubled times of 2020, this is an uplifting and positive and inspiring moment. A miracle of wonder and happiness.

Unfortunately, by the time Rory will be playing softball I will be too old to teach her my secret hitting skills and techniques. Too old to demonstrate them, anyway, without an immediate visit to the chiropractor. Still, I can offer sage advice: if the pitcher fools you with a breaking pitch, do not swing unless you have two strikes; start your swing with a slight “hitch” back onto the heel of your power foot and then rotate forward onto the ball of your foot as you make contact; start your swing on every pitch and then halt if the pitch is out of the strike zone…

Those sorts of things. I can already see her rolling her eyes in annoyance with grandpa’s coaching.

In exchange, she will have to teach her grandfather the various computer technologies that he is annoyed to learn.

There are dozens of other life skills she’ll need to acquire from grandpa: how to cut your own hair with a pet clipper, how to spit correctly (very useful in softball), how to smoke a cigar and blow a smoke ring, how to blow your nose without a handkerchief, how and when to use the appropriate swear words, how to do self-surgery and stitches on minor injuries. So many others. (See blog post Christmas gifts for my grandchildren.)

But these are minor joys in the course of the grandparenting life. More important will be vacation travels, summer visits to the farm (also spring, autumn, and winter), theater and music performances in school, picnics and campouts, Christmases, Thanksgivings, birthdays, graduations… Expectations of exciting and wonderful times. Not sure I will live long enough to see her begin her medical school residency or earn her Ph.D. in political science, but we’ll see.

Let the adventure begin. I’m ready. I think I’m ready. I hope I’m ready.



More essays and stories about life in the North Country are published in my six collections of essays and three novels, available through at  Jerry Johnson Author Page

About Jerry Johnson

Curmudgeon. Bird hunter and dog trainer. Retired journalist and college public relations director. Former teacher, coach, mentor. Novelist and short story writer. Husband, father, grandfather.
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4 Responses to Beyond words

  1. russiababy1 says:

    Hearty and heartfelt congratulations, Jerry.

  2. Great picture. And your granddaughter is blessed beyond words to have you and Patti as grandparents. ❤ Give my best to Regan and Charlie when you see them.

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