Besides the usual holiday season bustle there were more occasions than usual to spend quality time with the grandkids. Their father found out 3 weeks ago that he'd been chosen for a new position as an associate pastor and would need to relocate several hours away by today. His new job begins tomorrow!
I'm so thankful for all of the quality AND quantity time we have spent with our grandchildren over the past three years while they lived 20 minutes away. I've been spoiled beyond measure in having all of our family in the area until this year. Since I retired a year ago there have been even more random hours and afternoons spent in the company of those little ones. Meanwhile their mother and I got used to our new roles and cemented a friendship as adults, not just mother-daughter.
(you just knew there was a 'but' coming, didn't you?)
…the fact is, today at 7 AM they all pulled out of the driveway in their old Ford Focus and a hole opened up in my heart. They stayed with us this week. The chaos, noise, and extra alertness that is required served as a reminder of why people become parents while they are young, yet some of the sweetness of our own young parent years reverberated. I heard my husband use his goofy baby talk voice and watched him rock a baby girl to sleep again, and I thought of him doing that when he was slender and his hair was still red. I felt warm chubby legs around my waist and felt an active little boy relax into sleep in my lap. For a few days the bedrooms, dinner table, trash cans, bathrooms, and my heart were full.
|Where did they go?|
|This was what Toby did when he heard the grandkids' names.|
I don't mean to be selfish about this. Ted and I tried to raise our children to be independent, self-reliant, productive adults. They are, though it's probably more in spite of than because of us . There's joy in watching them hit the milestones of adulthood - graduations, the first jobs, marriages, first homes. When your own children become parents, though, and you see them struggle to come to grips with their own confusion about how to take on the greatest responsibility they will ever have, there's a peculiar mixture of empathy, pride, and love. I'm going to miss knowing about those struggles so intimately, because even in this age of technology, physical distance equates to a loss of the day-to-day knowing that comes from being together often.
|When are they coming back?|