Monday, October 26, 2015

On Becoming Grandparents by Andrea

On October 12, my husband and I became grandparents for the very first time. Here are just a few of the feelings I can put into words.

*I wish I could adequately express what it was like to see my own grandchild for the first time. 
     Kai made his arrival lighting quick.  At 10:47 pm, we got a call from my son to "leave the house because IT is going down NOW!" I let out a little loud cheer then gingerly (shoulder surgery kept me from charging) climbed the stairs to deliver the news and to hasten my hubby's preparations. We thought we would have time to shower and take a quick nap before driving the hour and forty-five minutes from Cedar Park to San Antonio.
    King Kai, as our son refers to him, had other royal plans and summoned all of his loyal subjects together suddenly.  By 11:11 pm, Daddy Damien had called back. Excitedly but distractedly he yelled into the phone, "He's here!  He's here!" before breathlessly uttering some words about needing to be by his wife's side and hanging up the phone.  I was thrilled she was well and proud that he knew she needed to be his priority.  A knot started to form in my throat as I let the words 'he's here!' sink in.  I yelled upstairs to make the pronouncement of the his majesty's arrival.  The thought "We are now Noni and Pop" filled my mind as my heart tried to fully comprehend the enormity of it all.
     I looked down at my cell phone screen a few seconds later, and there appeared our newest pride and joy.  Our little prince came in at a whopping 8 lbs 7 oz., 21.5 inches long. And he looked every bit of it with his mouth gaped open in a wail, the sweet sound that every obstetrician and new parent longs to hear.
    And I wept.  Soft, steady, sweet tears. Every joy, every hope, every prayer dripped from my eyes as I took in every aspect of him, another miracle born into our family.  Oh, to live that feeling over and over again.
Our first photo of the big guy!
*Holding my grandson for the first time was a lot like holding his father for the first time, but also a lot different.
     Readers, if you will recall from a previous writing about my life, I told you Damien came to me when I was 16 years old.  Despite my youth, I fully understood and appreciated the beauty and responsibility which were part and parcel of being a new mom.  I held him with fierce devotion and adoration while denying feelings of overwhelming insecurity as the automatic recognition of the enormity of the task of bringing up another human being washed over me.  At once, I was awed and afraid.
     With Kai, I did not feel the insecurity.  Humility swept over me as, subconsciously, I realized how privileged we are to have a chance at life with this little person.  Love showered my heart and soul as an infinite number of hopes and dreams seem to converge on his sleeping face.  Yet, I felt no fear or doubt as I held him.  Maybe this is the secret of grand-parenting versus parenting.  We have brought up a human being who is more than capable of bringing up another.  In this I find comfort and peace. I get to enjoy, not fret (at least not over the same things as his parents). I get to devote my time and attention fully to him, not to all the fears and what ifs that come with parenting for the first time.  Mostly because, I know in end he will turn out just fine because I know who his parents are.

*I always knew my son would make a great father.
      Because of the adoration and respect he has for his wife, I knew she would be a great mother. Watching them with Kai during the first day of his life brought such pride.  They may not feel completely confident and sure, but they are acting the part quite well.  They have made decisions for Kai's best interest with focus and certainty as if they'd been caring for him for years.  They know him already.  They can already speak of his likes and needs.  Damien has 5 younger siblings and scores of cousins and play cousins.  He has spent years inadvertently preparing for this time.  But the rubber meets the road when its your child.  He is embracing his all-important ocean of responsibility with grace and confidence that comes from one who has prayed for his child.  Our grand-baby is in expert hands. I tell my son, "A lot of people know a lot of things about babies, but you are the one who knows everything about your baby.  Pray, then trust yourself."

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