When Amy was expecting our first grandchild a friend told me a little of what I could expect. "Grandkids are like a part of you and when you are with them you feel so much joy and when they leave it's like a part of you is missing, a literal heart ache you miss them so much."
I feel the same way. Last night, after our early Thanksgiving feast, Ruby and I played balls in the basement and Grandpa soon joined us. Peter and I climbed up the stairs over and over and over again to his delight. I stuck out my tongue "ble blur ble blur ble blur" over and over and he would smile brightly and do the same back. He would gently tip his head onto my cheek giving me loves. Then we read books, Jenn read with Peter and I read with Ruby. Long after Peter moved on to other things Ruby and I were still going strong. Seven board books and then seven longer books. I could have read all night. As she snuggled in my lap and soaked up the stories, I soaked up the moment. The weight of her in my lap, the softness of her hair on my cheek, her sweet smell... and her comments, giggles and smiles as we read. Memorizing every detail so that after she left this morning, the memory could help fill the missing space in my heart. Soon it was time for bed. Amy read the last book to Ruby, Caps for sale! Ruby knew every word and detail. Amy read, shaking her finger,
"You monkeys, you...give me back my caps. But the monkeys only shook their fingers back at him and said..." Then Ruby would shake her finger and say, "Tsz, tsz, tsz.".
These are such a loved children. I could see, and had seen all week, the difference that it makes to a child to have a mother who is willing to be there for them each and every day and to have a father who wants the same thing. Some of our (adult) conversation this week was about the challenges of raising children in the world we live in. Where moral values are skewed or absent and what's popular is often mistaken for what's most important. In Kindermusik this week we talked about the importance of children having a secure base and how that helps them have the courage and security to explore the world and eventually become independent.
I am so thankful for children and their spouses and so many others who are sacrificing and working hard to give their children a good foundation in life. Young adults who often live a less than glamorous life, in the trenches each day nurturing, providing and protecting this most precious resource for what ails the world, our children.
Children grow up so quickly.
These moments are fleeting.
The time and love given by their parents each day really do make all the difference.
Despite all the challenges in the world,
I can see hope in our future.