They Call Me “Papa Z” by Chris Zito

This is Kaylee, my granddaughter.

There, I’ve officially come out as a grandpa. At 49 (hey, I’ve got 3 weeks left!), I’m a young one. Makes sense, I was a young father.
When I tell people they always say, “Gee you don’t look like a grandfather.”
I say, “Sure I do. I just don’t look like your grandfather!”


Kaylee turns 1 tomorrow. Kimi and I will miss it because Kaylee lives on the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  BP is sponsoring her party.


Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. You look like a pelican
covered in sludge that can’t fly and whose natural habitat has been irrevocably damaged…
and you smell like one too!

Happiest days are easy to remember:  weddings, birth of children, the 2004 World Series .


Hey, I love my wife, but I didn’t wait my entire life to see us get married!

Back to Kaylee:

The day she was born was exciting, but not life changing. It was exhilarating but not overwhelming because we weren’t there. We flew down when Kaylee was a few weeks old and got to meet her face to face and hold her.
Life changing. Overwhelming. Love at first sight.

The whole grandpa thing is the coolest.
Beautiful baby starts to cry-hand her back to Mommy.
Baby spits up-back to Mommy.
Baby poops-you get the idea.

Kaylee has two older brothers, my step grandsons, Anthony and Aidan.


I’ve only been around them a few times, but that’s enough to know that were
under either heavy threat or heavy sedation when this photo was taken!

Anthony came up with Papa Z. Not sure how I feel about the name. I didn’t want “Grandpa,” but I didn’t want to sound like a pizzeria either. Anyway the name has stuck. Thanks Anthony. Maybe someday Papa Z will show how to make homemade deep dish Sicilian pie. And when it gets all over you…
back to Mommy!

Thanks for reading.Tell your pals.
-Chris Zito

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