My grandson, and my only grandchild, just moved away.
As with many young families, work demanded my daughter and her husband to move out of state. I’m proud of their resolve to make a life of their own in a place where they don’t know anyone, yet. It took boldness and fortitude to pick up stakes and move away from family in order to make a better life for themselves and their little one. It’s not like they moved to another continent. I will enjoy those occasional visits. But I must confess that I deeply miss my little grandson.
I was there all the while his mom carried him in her womb. Days went by as I spoke to him, sang to him and felt him kick and roll. I stayed all day and night in the hospital while my daughter was in labor, breathing encouragement into her as she dealt with the crescendo of pain. My most precious moment came when I was asked by the midwife to assist her while my grandson made his way into the world. With a quick move, the midwife handed him up into the arms of his exhausted mother, tears of joy running down her face. I, too, had moist eyes as I watched his mom and dad hold him for the first time with wonder and joy. It was a moment all too fleeting yet the memory remains vibrantly alive within me.
For the first year, I stayed half the time with my daughter and grandson while daddy went to fly helicopters in another state. It was a blessing for me to be involved with the daily demands that a baby brings. I was my daughter’s nanny and I couldn’t have been happier. I deeply cherish that first year of his life and as I look back, I wouldn’t exchange those memories for anything.
Today, as I sip my early morning coffee in front of the window, I feel a pang of loneliness. Its not the kind of void that just anyone can fill. What I long for are those chubby little hands and cheeks. I miss his giggles and laughter that sound like tinkling chimes and those eyes that light up as he comes running through the door with his arms held up for a grandma hug. His wonder at the world around him never ends. Each day is new and full of surprises. My own childhood memories stir to life as I watch his curiosity unfold.
I sigh as I feel just a bit lost. For a few minutes. And then its like his little spirit is right by my side, bursting with curiosity and ready to go explore his world. What if I could recapture that same spirit, one that I did know as a young child. How would my days be different?
I finish my coffee, put on my jacket and shoes, and walk out the front door. I find the path that leads around the lake where walkers, joggers and young moms push strollers along the fall foliage. The day is still fresh and new. I smile and greet people as they pass, adore babies, and stop to throw some bread to the ducks. I throw my head back and breath in the crisp morning air. Today is lovely, freshly painted by God, and I feel a new joy begin to grow within me. I have a full and exciting life just waiting for me to make the first move. I think of my grandson and what kind of a legacy I will leave him. I smile, because I know in my heart what that legacy will be. And so I grasp his little imaginary hand as we skip across the water, laughing and giggling toward the coming years.