For most (all?) American voters, today could not have come soon enough. The accusations, recriminations and allegations have been more than a little too much.
So, in the interest of public service on Election Day 2006, today's column will deal not with the nastiness, negativity and conspiracy theories associated with the campaign. Folks who want to read or hear more about that won't have to work hard to find that elsewhere.
Instead, I will address something much more important and fascinating: My first grandchild.
For several months now, when folks learned that our daughter and son-in-law were expecting, the grandparents among them raved about grandparenthood. Invariably, they said it would be a life-altering experience.
Also, it seemed that every grandparent I spoke to had the world's most beautiful grandchild. And I'm sure they were right - until Friday evening, of course.
Since Saturday afternoon, when I met Claire Ann, I have tried to get used to this new role of Grandfather. Wasn't this assignment to have come later in life?
I'm too young for this.
When I was introduced to Claire, she was just in her teens - in hours, not years - and so we didn't have much of a conversation. She seemed more interested in eating and sleeping. We'll catch up on things another time.
Anyway, while pondering these new responsibilities, I surfed the Web and came across some quotes to put this grandparenthood deal into perspective. There is the Welsh proverb that states, "Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild."
Some other examples:
"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween." - Erma Bombeck.
"What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure." - Humorist Gene Perret.
"Being grandparents sufficiently removes us from the responsibilities so that we can be friends." - Psychologist Allan Fromme.
"It's funny what happens when you become a grandparent. You start to act all goofy and do things you never thought you'd do. It's terrific." - Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.
I can hear some readers say, "You were goofy before grandparenthood. Now you'll be worse?" Anyway, if you read this far, thanks for indulging me.