There may be nothing that chases away the dark shadows of the news — a pandemic, a dysfunctional Congress, an unknown number of people believing the loser of the last presidential election will magically become the winner before summer is over — as quickly and thoroughly as holding a new grandchild.
Parker Hayes Camden recently became my second pandemic grandchild, born a year and a week after his cousin Myles Richard Werden. They seem to be bookends to the worst of COVID-19.
When Myles was born, the state was in full-blown “stay home” mode with schools and many businesses closed to curb the spread of a virus that had no known treatment or vaccine. His masked grandparents only saw him through a window for weeks after he came home and had to make up for lost time months later.
Parker was born as the state seems to be pulling out of the worst of the pandemic, as case counts drop and with so much vaccine on hand that people are being coaxed into getting a lifesaving shot with a chance at $1 million. He came home to vaccinated grandparents who could do all the grandparently things in person, like watch a tiny hand grasp an adult finger or talk to him in a voice at least an octave higher than normal.
Myles and Parker join their siblings Wesley and Kendall as members of “Generation Alpha,” a name that seems destined to be a mere placeholder until someone comes up with something better. After all, what’s more lame than getting to Generation Z and just starting over with the Greek alphabet as though this were a long hurricane season?