The pride of a grandparent, it’s an emotion elusive to my day-to-day existence. That is; until the day you took your first breath.
“Jessica had the Baby.” Four words that pushed my chest forward; my shoulders back; and angled my head to the sky. Four words that will be a gift that continues to give to the generations of Manns to come. Feel me?
It escapes me how the first five years of your life is already a landmark in my own. Where has the time gone, Lil’ Mann? To be perfectly honest, I don’t even understand this pride I feel as a grandparent. I can only attest to the feeling being very similar to being in love for the very first time. Wow!! Believe me; that’s a feeling you’ll never shake Lil’ Mann. SMH
I find myself constantly thinking of ways to assist in the cultivation of that beautiful sponge between your ears. You should have started kindergarten a couple of weeks ago, so reading this isn’t far behind. It may be some time before you realize you’re reading much more than words, but what’s most important is that you’ll know this expression is an eternal connection between you and I. Son of my son, this is a connections that makes the hardest of men unashamed of shedding a tear. This is a connection that pulls the heartstrings of strangers, while solidifying our connection to those closest to us.
Daveante E. Mann, Jr., son of my son, you are destined for greatness. You’ve impacted so many lives in so little time, that I have no other choice but to expect great things from you. Greatness begins with its believer. Set the bar high for yourself, and exceed your own expectations. Greatness comes from within, Lil’ Mann. Ya heard?
Now, I know this concept may be a little deep for a 5 year old to ingest. Or is it? Well, nothing beats a failure, but a try. I’m a believer in your greatness Lil’ Mann. I trust that this expression will somehow influence the good that’s already a part of your make-up. It’s up to you to turn it into something great. Na mean?
You’ve been a blessing to me, for the past 5 years. So, it’s only right that I leave you a word of immortality for each year: “Jessica had the Baby. Hallelujah!!” Happy birthday, Lil’ Mann!!
MannofStat, a.k.a., G-Dad
Copyright © 2013 by Leroy Elwood Mann