I have been blessed with two grandchildren: my grandaughter is almost 2 years old and my grandson is 4 months old. I am very appreciative that I have lived long enough to see this (not everyone does) and I hopefully have enough years left to watch them grow up and perhaps, see their children too. I keep telling people that grandchildren are God’s way of rewarding you for not killing your own children. NOW I get to do all the silly, irresponsible things I wanted to do with my kids but couldn’t because I was “mom” and had to teach them how to be social (and socially acceptable) people. Ice cream for dinner, playing games all day instead of doing chores, and buying them gifts of especially frivolous nature because I can.
I was blessed with the gift of having my grandson stay with me (and his grandfather) for almost 7 weeks. An infant changes enormously in that amount of time; he added about 60% body weight, learned how to hold his head up, grasp things and smile, almost made it to the stage where he was laughing. I love that deep belly baby laugh. So pure in sound, so simple in its delivery and a sure reward for making a silly face or sound to amuse the child. There was some sort of change almost daily and I was honored to witness this blossoming intelligence and all the newly-learned abilities for living in our world.
But there was some bittersweet moments as well. I looked into my grandson’s eyes and I could see not only my immortality, but my own mortality. Chances are very good that I will not live long enough to see him find the joys of grandparenthood, even if I should make it to see him become a father. And that realization brings its own sadness and makes this time so much more precious to me. I am able to focus on him in a way that I could not focus on his father, trying to parent and do all the things needed to care for a child. This time, I can leave those things to his mother…which lets me interact with him on a different level than I did with his father–and I thought I connected pretty good back then.
As a practicing Buddhist (that means I haven’t perfected it yet)…I try to live in the moment and the time spent with my grandson was a deep lesson in that, in noticing and honoring the sacredness of each moment in our lives instead of waiting for “someday”. The sacred is where you find it–and if you’ll just look around, you’ll see it everywhere. Even in the eyes of a child. Especially in the eyes of a child…