They said it would be awesome. That grandchildren are the best. Different, somehow. More fun. I guess I figured that was because you could hand them back if the diaper was a real stinker, or you could sugar them up and send them home. Or maybe because you could afford to take them to the zoo without selling some blood or clipping a gazillion coupons to pay for it.
That’s not really it at all.
Granted I’m only four months in, but it has been an intense four months. 🙂 Here are a few things I’m noticing…
We live in a world that is perpetually astonishing. My own children taught me this, but I forget sometimes. I watch Kenzie as she studies shafts of light, the texture of cloth, her face in a mirror, the sound of raindrops. The miracle of discovery happens every day at our house. And all things are become new.
There’s no time like the present. I’m in no hurry for her to reach milestones. They’ll come. I am happy to revel in the little person she is right here, right now. She will walk, someday. And talk, someday. And, very probably she will do those things for the rest of her life. But she will never again be just as she is on this day, at this moment. So I sip slowly and savor. I run my hands over her soft skin, memorizing each curve, each crease. I breathe the scent of her and listen to her baby girl sounds. I photograph her smile over and over because I never, ever want to forget.
It’ll wait. The laundry will wait. The dishes and the dusting. The books, the garden, the blog, and a million other things that I might be doing will wait….while I sing to my dear one…and read her stories…and lie on the bed with her and giggle.
Love knows no bounds. As my babies were born I experienced the miraculous truth that love does not diminish as you spread it out among more people. It grows exponentially so that there is always plenty to go round. It has been wonderful to watch Kenzie multiply love in others. I am in awe of my daughter. The intensity, the magnanimity, the softness of her love for her baby girl is a beautiful thing to see. And the uncles. My boys. Doting does not even begin to tell the story. And I see a side of them I had not yet known. That tender someday father. I love what I see.
Babies find a beautiful place in people that sometimes lies hidden. I suppose I was always in too big a hurry…too frantic…to notice it when my little ones were small. But I notice it everywhere we go now. A crusty old man will suddenly soften when he sees her. And when she smiles at him, all his defenses crumble. Children, teenagers, grandmothers who have handled hundreds of little ones in their time, it doesn’t matter. All stop. All look. She smiles at them, and whatever was troubling them is forgotten. For just this moment, all is right with the world. And it is impossible to not have hope. Right here. Right now.
Truth is, I don’t mind changing dirty diapers. And I love giving baths. I am too much of a health freak to ever be the grandmother who keeps a stash of sugary garbage for my grandbabies. I am grateful that we have reached a position financially stable enough that Mike has the leisure of spending more time with Kenzie than he could with our children when they were small. But, we aren’t likely to be the sort of grandparents for whom money is a love language. We have loved creating experiences and memories with our children. I hope to do the same with our children’s children.
Being a grandmother is, in fact, the bombdiggity. Every day I believe it more.