As I write this month’s reflection, I’m winging across the country to visit my two daughters and four grandsons in Pennsylvania.

It’s a different experience, grandsons. Raising two girls was an experience full of joy and “emotional complexity.” Now our next generation of all boys is emotionally pretty simple and straightforward, but life is now characterized by what I might call “physical exuberance.”

I don’t mean to stereotype — I’m just tell you what our life has been like.

Baby Boomers are seriously concerned about being called names that sound old. Grand-Dad or Grammy? Perish the thought.

If you are one of our younger readers, it may seem that being a grandparent is several lifetimes away, but it’s not. As I get older, I am more conscious than ever of the swiftness with which time goes by. Yesterday I was a grandson scampering around Grandma Butcher. Today I’m a grandpa four times over. Tempus fugit.

I’m one of 65 million grandparents in the United States today, and that figure is expected to grow to 80 million by 2020. By that time, one in every three people in the United States will be a grandparent. Research shows that while many find grandparenting a highly satisfying time in life, an increasing number of grandparents face the added financial and emotional burden of being the primary caregiver of their grandchildren because of parents’ financial stress or other social problems. They need all the support we can give them.

In our increasingly mobile society, 75 percent of grandparents say they wish they could see their grandchildren more often, and only 33 percent live within 25 miles of their grandkids. When asked, “What is the most satisfying thing about being a grandparent?” 45 percent answer, “unconditional love,” and not being responsible for the discipline of the children.

Of course, becoming a grandparent can be a mixed bag. While we might have had some control over the timing of our children, the arrival of grandchildren is out of our control. And when we first gain this new status, we may have to deal with the reality of our own aging.

In fact, I read recently that folks in my generation — the Baby Boomers — are seriously concerned about being called names that sound old. Grand-Dad or Grammy? Perish the thought. We’d prefer all kinds of outlandish but younger-sounding names, inventing a new generation of handles.

Of course it never works, because the truth is that we don’t name ourselves — our grandchildren do. And don’t be surprised if the name they choose makes you sound old. After all, to them you are already ancient!

And when we first gain this new status, we may have to deal with the reality of our own aging.

So I feel a strange calm, up here at 33,000 feet, knowing that soon this peace will be replaced with the physical exuberance of my grandsons. Do these visits make me feel older? Probably. But that’s OK. I don’t fight it.

As the plane banks to the northeast, I’ll simply utter a few lines from a 17th century prayer: “Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a sour old person — some of them are so hard to live with and each one a crowning work of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.”