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Grandpa welcomes baby girl

July 18, 2009

Grandfatherhood is something that comes with age.

You wake up one day, and you're a grandparent.

My newest grandchild was born Monday, April 27.

My oldest son, Andy, and daughter-in-law, Sara, named her Violet Rayne Mulieri. I asked my son where that name came from, and he said, "Violet, you know, like the color of the Ravens."

He's a huge Baltimore Ravens fan. I thought the Ravens were purple and black, but I guess Purple Rayne would have sounded too much like a rock star. If she had been a boy, they probably would have named him Ray-Ray Mulieri, after Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

So Violet Rayne it is.

I had a little fun with my wife recently. When they were bringing the baby to see us, I told my wife, Linda, "There's a Violet Rayne coming through the area this afternoon."

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She said, "Oh my, the kids will be traveling in it."

No, dear, not a violent rain, but a Violet Rayne.

It was one of the few times recently that she laughed out loud at one of my attempts at a joke.

You got me, she said.

And this name thing just evolves for grandparents, as well. Right now, I'm just Grandpa Tony and she's Grandma Linda. You never know, though. We could become PawPaw and Nana, depending on how Violet Rayne pronounces our names.

I had a Grandpa Tony. One of my earliest memories is Grandpa Tony taking me to the Naval Academy in Annapolis for the day. It was a beautiful sunny day and it was just Grandpa Tony and me.

It is days like that that you remember for a lifetime.

Some people say the best thing about being a grandparent is at the end of the day, you can hand the child back to the parents.

I don't know. You practically have to pry Linda's arms away from Violet Rayne when it is time for the baby to go home. Perhaps it's because we had four boys and now a girl is in her clutches.

In this high-tech age of ours, digital photos of Violet have been flying through the universe through e-mails from relative to relative like eBulletins from the newspaper.

She doesn't seem to mind. My son even superimposed a cell phone up to her ear in one of her photos. She really looks like she's talking to someone. That's probably not too far off.

She seems to be all girl.

I don't know too much about girls, to be honest. Violet definitely has a pinkish hue to her. It could be a reflection from her clothing or it is just that girl thing.

They let me give her a bottle the other day and she stared at me the whole time, like I was her best friend.

You know you're a grandparent when you walk around with a little white spittle on your shoulder and you don't care.

Tony Mulieri is community editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7647, or by e-mail at tonym@herald-mail.com.

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