T.S. Eliot said it again for me so eloquently – “to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
I have been on the parenting journey before. And I enjoyed every moment of it. Grand-parenting is arriving where we started and knowing the place for the first time.
Grand-parenting is a gift, a present – just as the life we have all received is. To see new life from the new lives we have brought into the world is an indescribable joy. We know we have been here before and yet every moment seems like a novel experience we have never experienced before. We know the joy over the birth of a baby. And yet, this baby we are holding now seems to be the only baby in the world – most beautiful, one of a kind, unrepeatable. It is strange how so common an experience can seem to us to be the only one of its kind.
Grand-parenting is a Faith experience, a journey of discovery. More than the earthly joys that grand-parenting has brought me, it has taught me lessons of the spirit I only faintly understood until now.
Jonathan is the first born of the fruits of my seeds. He is now entering his teens. He has the typical mood swings of teenagers. But deeper in him, I can see another Jonathan struggling to break free from his child-ish cocoon. He has talents seeking to unfold. He has a dream aching to be expressed. And he is very antsy to get on that journey all of us must take. Yet, in the midst of all the moods and anxiety, the excitement and sense of adventure; there is that sweet loving child who is so generous with his hugs and affections and always willing and sensitive to reach out to people in need. the very same sweet child that captivated me the first time I held him in my arms.
Jane could have been just an ordinary girl but everything she does I see with love, wonder and amazement. Her early artistic attempts could have been just the meaningless doodling of an infant but they are an affirmation for me that there is a loving God who makes all that Jane does so wonderful and life-giving. Even as a child, Jane was attuned to sounds, sights, and smells that only she could sense. Memories of the heaven she just left behind, I used to believe. If I am deaf and blind to the sounds, sights, and smells that God sends me, How could I miss them when I see my Jane.
Maia was barely two months old when she embarked early on her journey with her parents to a foreign land. She started out delicate and seemingly fragile. But deep inside her is an indomitable spirit that told me, life will not be denied. Behind her angelic smile and calm disposition lies a fighter who will never give up. And we wake up every morning with her picture waiting for us to greet her ‘Good morning’. I count the days we can hold her again in my arms.
Mikhaela is on her way. There is a lot of excitement over her coming. And I wait her coming with great hope and joy, like the Advent waiting we just went through this past Christmas. I am already imagining how she will look like, what she will be doing and saying, her voice, her mannerisms, and even her cry. But I am sure that the real Mikhaela will be more, much, much more than I can imagine. It teaches me to never second guess what God has in store for me. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I love being a Grand-Parent.