Pop-pop (my dad) arrived yesterday evening, and in so doing, Sam has met her last biological grandparent — She still hasn’t met “Gramma Carolyn” — Pop-pop’s wife. I picked up Pop-pop from the Altoona train station after pretty much an all-day Amtrak trip from Richmond, VA. At least the price was right — less than he’d have paid in gas to make the drive. In a sense, he met Sam at a good time. She’s much less fussy generally than she’s ever been before. She’s showing off new skills like tolerating some tummy time, and rolling over. But she’s also starting to show people-preferences. I first suspected this when we had Erin over, and Sam didn’t seem to like Erin. Even though everybody likes Erin! But, it was confirmed with Pop-pop. Because Pop-pop is Santa Claus, he’s quite used to holding children of all shapes, sizes and ages. This year he even had two 3-day olds visit him on the same day! But when Sam was being held by him, she’d start to fuss. I tried to let them have as much time together as I could stand, but when she got really worked up, I’d take her back, and she’d calm almost instantly. This was disappointing, but also tremendously gratifying — she knows and trusts me. I guess in some ways, it’s still not sunk in that I’m a father. I mean, I get that I have a daughter — the sleep, or lack thereof, has driven that home. But what I’m only starting to understand is that I’m her father; The source of authority, knowledge, wonder, comfort, embarrassment, frustration, irritation — all the things that make up a father package.

Anyway, Pop-pop and I had quite a day today first at the fascinating horseshoe curve, and then to one on to Lower (rhymes with Power) Trail — a local, privately owned and volunteer-maintained rail-trail. I’ll post some pictures shortly, both of Sam, and of the curve and trail, and link them into this post.

  • * *Update:

Recent pictures of Sam can be found in Month 4.

Pictures from the Horseshoe Curve can be found in Places.