Aug. 28, 2016

On being a grandmother...

 

When my daughter-in-law was expecting her and my son’s first child and our first grandchild, someone very close to me said, “You are going to love being a grandmother! It is the best feeling ever.” I remember thinking to myself, “I love being a mother. I can’t imagine anything better.”

Oh, but it is…

I’ve decided that our grandchildren provide multiple blessings to enhance our lives. First, they are visible proof that we have legacies that will continue beyond our own death. Secondly, the love felt for our children is multiplied by two resulting in the deepest level of love for our grandchildren. Thirdly, grandchildren typically come along at a point in our lives that we need to let our hair down and have a little bit more fun.

I believe that as we age we ask the questions, “Have I spent my time wisely? Will I have an impact on this world?” Our grandchildren answer those questions by reminding us that we contribute to future generations through their precious lives.

While I could not imagine loving anyone more than I love my three sons (I have to be careful here or my boys will protest), when your child has a child the love is even deeper. To look into a baby’s eyes and see your own child/children looking back at you after many years of rowdy kids, challenging teens, heartbreaking empty nests, and feeling forgotten, someone hands you this precious baby. The years are magically turned back to when we were young and we held our first child. That’s the beauty of grandparenting. You love them and send them home. You spoil them and enjoy every minutes of it!

Here’s the heartache though – not only does our love multiply and grow deeper, wounds and pain follow suit. When our children hurt, we hurt. When our grandchildren hurt, we grieve.

When young children and teens are introduced back into our world, time dissipates. We get to enjoy the giggles and toes, the sneakers and bows, the ballgames and dancing, and reindeer keep prancing.

When my own grandmother passed away and our family began to clean out her house, we came across letters that I wrote her over the years. She saved them all. Keep in mind there weren’t cell phones, computers, and text messages back then. Writing my grandmother was therapy for both of us. I poured out my heart sharing stories and experiences. She absorbed each and every one of them. They were so important to her that she kept the letters. Believe it or not, I was one of 13 grandchildren. My attention still mattered.

Divorce damages grandparenting. Divorce devastates children. When we are robbed of our grandchildren or forced to watch our grandchildren live a “Plan B” life, it hurts beyond description. All those things listed that grandchildren bring to us seems tarnished. Painfully, there is nothing we can say about it. We have no voice. That’s the number one thing we have in common with our grandchildren – they have no voice either. We join hands in an aching commonality.

Divorce needs to be discouraged. (Grandchildren need to be encouraged – hint/hint.) I believe divorce today is too easy. We’ve moved from seeing it as scandalous to openly accepting it. In some cases, it is often encouraged; not discouraged. God forgives all sin. Children deserve both parents.

My first grandchild was this perfect little boy that came out looking just like his daddy. Then, to top it off, after having three sons and one grandson, I was handed this beautiful little girl.

Who could ask for anything more? Well, accept for more grandchildren. My parents tell me great-grandchildren serve to deepen both our love and life’s experiences. I am okay waiting for a while to see if they are right on that one.

*Note: This blog is not intended to hurt anyone who has suffered a divorce. God's grace covers everyone and everything. God's love heals broken hearts.