Posts Tagged ‘family’

What I’ve Learned So Far Since Becoming a Grandparent

Isaac Samuel, age 12 days

Isaac Samuel Celovsky was born at home on May 16th, 2012, in a hurry, almost beating the midwife, the doula, and his RN auntie. It was a kind of 1 a.m. manic ballet, with cases of medical supplies scattered around, each player performing some necessary duty for mom and baby. Low light, low laughter.

Several hours later, while holding our beautiful boy, Willow, the doula, announced: “And that’s how you have a baby!”

His big sister, Natalia, slept through the entire birth. She arrived 2 years ago and our family is, to put it mildly, crazy about her.

I confess, at this point, to being one of those moms whose Memory Lane has never been paved, and who doggedly pulls her little red wagon of regret over the stones and ruts of remembered failures, all the while weeping into a well-preserved cloth diaper.

Pathetic, I know, but there it is.

I am, however, being redeemed. Becoming a grandparent has been an extravagant gift, an offering of grace. And within its abundance is the possibility of a kind of existential rewind, a do-over. Here are a few things I have learned so far:

  • Grandchildren are not “all the joy without the responsibility”. They are joy with welcome responsibilities. That those responsibilities are not 24/7 adds to the joy. Got that?
  • Grandchildren are a constant and healthy reminder of the swift passage of time. So, to avoid another red wagon, I’ve learned to slow way down and savor them in all their miracle, move at their pace, see the bugs, hear the birds, touch the grass – with a fresh sense of wonder. Except for spiders.
  • Grandchildren provide an opportunity to instill a love of books and reading in the next generation. A particularly satisfying pleasure. We can revisit all the old favorites and be enchanted by new ones. Dr. Seuss? Still genius.
  • Grandchildren remind us of the gift of animals. Imagine the world without them. Think about how small children love our pets at home, how much of children’s literature focuses on the exquisite creatures of the earth, how keen we are to get our kids to the zoo. When praying over her food, Natalia invariably asks God to bless the “penguins and lemurs.” Madagascar, you know. Animals rock. Grandkids help us remember that.
  • Grandchildren help us practice all those other life lessons learned. Things like not sweating the small stuff (trite, but, you must admit, true). In fact, it’s better to hold tighter to the Father’s hand and not sweat the big stuff, either.

    Natalia Renae, age 2

My husband and I have been assured of a grandchild every 2 years for the foreseeable future.

Okay, so that was what I think I heard.

My family is small and scattered across the United States. Sam’s is large and scattered around the world. We intend, therefore, to keep filling up our home right here in Sonoma County with loved ones, including lots and lots of grandbabies.

Because we’re learning, that’s how you build a family.

What grandparent lessons have you learned? Or, what things do you see your children teaching?

Here In This Life With You

She is a sprite, a toddling breeze blowing through my life with clear and knowing blue eyes and busy baby hands. This grandchild is a gift offered with such generosity that it takes my breath away.  I, who often felt I was hurrying my own children through childhood, suddenly have this small girl at my feet, calling my name, stretching little arms out with cupped hands and a pleading face:  “Hold you.”

Ah, yes, I will hold you.  I will lift your sturdy little body, carefully, and you will settle in my arms, just so, and ask for a cracker or a banana.

“Starka.”  She says it as both a statement and a question, as if to make sure my attention has not wandered.  “Starka.”  Yes, darlin’. I am here.  So glad to be here with you.  So very glad to be here in this life with you.

Have you given thanks for your loved ones today?  There is no time like now.

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