She’s here, and more beautiful than I could have imagined. Do you see the resemblance?
Due to increased risk to mommy and baby, our pregnant daughter-in-law will be induced this week – three weeks early – bringing a new granddaughter into our world.
The thought of that perfect little parcel of cells opening her mouth wide and gulping her first breath exhilarates me.
I’ve always loved kids. Kids and animals. Put me in a room full of faces and bodies and I’ll find a corner from which to observe and the small bodies will gravitate to me.
Conversations with kids are so easy and natural – innocent and information hungry questions, simple requests, and bonding extraordinaire. Pure enjoyment of pets comes without the hassle of overtones and inflections and nuances.
Adding instant grandchildren has been so easy for me. Build a quick addition to my ‘heart and soul house’ and put their name on the wall. Instant family. Instant love. Equal rights. Easy-peasey.
This is a first though – a challenge to my stance. A seed. The added room to the ‘heart and soul house’ is more like a new tree. It’s been growing, a part of me already – not quite the same as something I’ve built. Suddenly I’m aware of those carefully saved treasures, little snippets of papers to show progress through the years; memories captured – boxed and saved books from my childhood, special items from my son’s childhood; simple little cards and writings I’ve protected dutifully through the years. Suddenly all of these things make perfect sense. Their space-taking has full value now – these are the physical representations, the accouterments of the new room, the outgrowth finally seen for its worth.
And now my logical mind wrests with the knowledge that what I’ve always said, what I’ve always thought, what I’ve always lived, is not quite true. I’ve fooled myself.
Blood is thicker than water. It is. There’s a surge of feelings that cannot simply be constructed with imported family.
But there is the choice, free choice, true choice to build family, to add them honestly and truly to your heart.
I recognize the difference now, as I contemplate that these hands, these arms, these eyes, will caress an outgrowth of my cells, my parts, my pieces. My mom’s parts and pieces – my dad’s parts and pieces. Suddenly the generational puzzle will fit another piece into place.
Those family that have been added as fully formed units formed from other generational parts are still my family – they have their own true familial space, because my heart constructs very authentic room additions on the ‘heart and soul house’. For better or for worse.
So to my daughter-in-law who brought me instant grandchildren: Dear love, you are my tribe – your kids are my tribe. I’m Grandma no matter the result of your vows – the heart rooms are already built, and I’m a master constructor, and an equal opportunity sort of gal. Please understand that I never got the same start with your babes that is now available with their cousin-to-be. Bear with me as I bond, as I relish in the glow of new feelings. Hang in there Hon – there’s no devaluation in store. We’re adding, not subtracting, love for one more. You are my daughter, and I love you and what you’ve added to our family.
And to my daughter-in-law who carries the unborn child of my son, my cells, the inheritor of my past: Dear love, bear with me as I run the gamut of emotions, as I try to give you space to bond. For my hands want to reach out and intertwine with this new little semblance of my son. My mind wants to erase the mistakes I made as a mom and embrace the opportunities of being a grandma that is there from day one, with the hindsight and knowledge to share. I’ll do my best not to smother you all with my needs. Know that as this little one resides in room number six of the ‘heart-and-soul’ home – it’s the first room of its type, it’s special and will always be, something I have no skill to construct. A room only God can produce. I love you, dear daughter, and love what you give to my son.
aka Grandma Trish
“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”
It occurred to me this morning that there’s a possibility I may not see my granddaughter again.
A bright-eyed, bouncing bundle of intellect, packaged in the loveliest presentation imaginable.
Oh sure, she’s got her quirks. I didn’t say she was perfect. She’s an absolute joy though. I treasure every moment we’ve spent together.
She’s new to our realm, you see. Her mom married our son last year and brought this 7-soon-to-be-8 year-old into our lives.
We have an open arm policy in our house, you see. We accept steps as our own, we treat them equally.
But it seems that the marriage might not last… or it might. We’re not privy to the details until the decision is made.
Over the last 5 weeks, we’ve spent extra time with this joyful gal. We’ve had sleepovers, we’ve gone shopping, we’ve had swimming fun, we’ve had a few minor tears and we’ve had a lot of conversation.
This child even went so far as to mention that we wouldn’t be family if the marriage broke up, to which I retorted “too bad, we’ve adopted you, so you’re always family.”
Now I see why that option was presented. Sometimes the kids know before the adults.
So pour me a full and overflowing glass of water today, please! I want to watch this beautiful girl reach her full potential.
Is it a bad sign when you awaken and ask yourself, “what day is today? Can I go back to sleep?”
Then, realizing that Hubby is in the shower, which means it must no longer be the weekend (not that he doesn’t take showers during the week, mind you)…
It took me til nearly noon today to get the blasted cobwebs out of my head. It was a good (and sober, mind you) weekend, with two seven year-old girls to trail after once again.
I think the campfire fueled by three years of business papers might have given me some sort of chemically induced brain fog.
Here’s to the fog lifting and the day moving along more clearly. 🙂
I had two special guests this weekend: my seven-year old granddaughter and her newly discovered seven-year old cousin, my great-niece.
Preparing for the weekend, I had to stretch my eating habits a bit. I’ve found that most young girls, typical youth anyway, are not health conscious and are certainly not aware of organic foods and natural products. They’re typically pretty picky about their food, as am I, but we see things completely different.
Assembling the donuts, the pizza plans, the sports drinks, I was contemplating how those items were going to affect my newly discovered waist line. Ah, we all have to stretch a bet now and then, right?
So, we’re having a fabulous time, we three gals, cavorting in the backyard pool. The girls are off to the side, having some girl-talk when I hear, “Aunt Trish – do you go to church?”
“No, but I do get together with other believers.”
“Then you don’t know God, ” she states, very matter-of-fact.
Why would a child think that I couldn’t possibly know about God if I didn’t go to church?
That sent my mind reeling. How do I explain to a seven-year old that I follow a different God – a God who doesn’t require me to go to church, but who requires that I do get together with other believers?
I simply replied, “Oh, I know all about God.”
“But you can’t know everything,” she retorted.
True that, dear child, true that.