Starbuck’s, McDonald’s, Mercedes, BMW, Nike, Reebok, Budweiser, Coors, Raisin Bran, Special K, ESPN, NFL, Home Depot, Loews, Macy’s, Target and dozens of other brand names are well known to me. But yesterday, all of these names faded away.
A new name overtook every brand I ever knew: Nico.
NICO was born at 5:51 am on Saturday, June 4, 2011. He is my first grandchild. A boy. When I held him in my arms for the first time and looked into his beautiful face, all I could think was…”there goes my heart.”
Suddenly, this person I had never met, meant more to me than anything else in the world.
For a brief moment, I worried that I have another person to worry about and care for and I wondered if I could do that. I’m quite used to the status quo. I have enough to take care of, enough to do. I am getting selfish with my time. I have enough responsibilities.
So, do I want another person in my life to worry about? When it comes to Nico, the answer is a giant “YES!”
Talk about a new lease on life, a reason to live and a life-changing event. Your first grandchild is all of those cliches and more.
I’m sure my son Anthony has already experienced that moment of panic that a father feels when he wonders if he can provide properly for his newborn.
But, as most fathers know, that thought quickly passes and is replaced with the determination to do whatever is necessary to make sure his child has everything he had and more.
For me and my spouse, the majority of our fears vanished when Nico and his mother both came through the experience healthy and well.
This healthy “beginning” is due in large part to my daughter-in-law, whom I affectionately refer to as “the Princess.” She researched every aspect of pregnancy and early motherhood. She ate healthy foods, exercised, and did everything necessary and more to ensure this baby was healthy.
Another key to this happy event was my wife. She spent countless hours listening to the new mommy’s concerns and issues.
We jokingly refer to her as “Marie Barone,” the TV mother of comedian Ray Barone. But her advice was often sought — and always received — on issues from what to expect during delivery, to what gifts to put on the register list for the baby shower, and (especially) the baby’s clothes and how to decorate his room.
All grandchildren are special. In fact, my cousin said, “George, grandchildren are God’s gift to you for having put up with your own children.” And she’s right. But the first grandchild is clearly the UberChild.
For my family, the Ultimate Brand isn’t Starbuck’s, McDonald’s or Mercedes, or even Nike…it’s Nico.
May God Bless this Brand.