by NANCY CHRISTENSEN
Grandchildren do not tread lightly on your heart, and holding a grandchild for the first time is one of life’s sweetest moments. A newborn, a new life (for both of you) and a love that is so unique that comparing your feelings to other loves is impossible. It seems your life has a new dimension and purpose, and an extra layer of happiness that is only beginning!
If you are lucky enough to live near this tiny bundle, it’s probably not long before you are able to spend quality time with him or her, even if just for short periods of time. ‘Baby-sitting’ gave my husband and I much pleasure, and the tired parents were happy to have a mini-rest! We were prized as baby-sitters because we did it for love, not money, and that love made us extra watchful and protective caregivers.
Grandchildren seem to grow so fast and we were soon spending weekends on camping trips as they became old enough. Sometimes we went on longer trips, or to countless baseball and football games, school plays, and birthday parties. Being a part of all their activities brought us so much enjoyment it seemed as though those years would last forever.
Now our grandchildren are young adults and most of them have a girlfriend or boyfriend. It seems as though we are drifting apart, and we no longer have as much time with them. The love between us is still there, but now there are other important things in their lives to focus on, like a tree gradually growing new branches. It wasn’t a sudden development, yet when we finally realize everything is changing, we start to miss those early years!
The love between us is still there, but now there are other important things in their lives
Last Saturday, our oldest grandson, Jason, was married in our back yard under sunny skies, surrounded by family, friends, many smiles and a few tears. His father, our son-in-law, sang the Lord’s Prayer, and it was a perfect wedding. I teared up a little during the ceremony. I was very happy for Jason and his new bride, but I was suddenly thinking: where did the time go and how did it fly by so fast? Jason is 26, yet it feels like just yesterday we took him on a camping trip where he consumed eight small boxes of cereal during one breakfast and, despite playing with the worms, caught more fish than his grandfather! He was a hungry 11-year old at the time. How did he reach this point so quickly?
While I was cleaning a closet shelf recently, I found a dusty box that had probably been sitting there for a long, long time. When I opened it, there were piles of little notebooks and mini diaries I had written on different trips or adventures with various grandchildren. Many of the notes were written hurriedly on notebook pages or little scraps of paper that were handy at the time, to record funny moments we had together. Their content was priceless! A warm feeling washed over me as I reread them, as if I had forgotten how close we once were and all the fun we had when they were younger.
The notes made my day sparkle. Reading them was bringing the grandchildren so close again, as though time hadn’t changed much at all. These memories will be with me forever, as well as new and different kinds of memories being made all the time.
NANCY CHRISTENSEN is a freelance writer from Michigan.