It’s a role full of interest for me. It is so very much different than being mom yet it often brings up in my heart the same delights and cares familiar to me from when our children were still children. It’s different because I’m not directly responsible for their training and discipline. I’m grateful for this as well.
I get to see into these children’s hearts with the memory of my own childhood. Did I forget this when their parents were small in our care? I wonder. Still, while reading The Boxcar Children aloud to them; I was transported in my memory to the wonder I felt as a child of those children enjoying day after day of discovery and miracle resources and creativity. It was all fun and beautiful. As a mom, I agonized over the lost children and who was watching out for them…I could hardly think the book was a read aloud fit for my children.
I have time now to notice and take pictures and capture their wonder and curiosity. It’s an amazing privilege.
We pray for them, much as we prayed for their parents. Yet, the weight feels different somehow. Not less, just different. I realize now that there were at least three sets of parents praying for our children: us and their grandparents on both sides the family. Now that I’m on the grandparent side of things, I know.
Grandchildren are breathtakingly beautiful and amazing and smart. Just like their parents, yes, but even more poignantly somehow.
As a mom, I would have seen those patches on his pants and would have known how hard that was to do and how discouraging to keep that boy in decent pants and still loved him and being proud of him and feeling guilty often for not having done enough: praying, caring, providing, teaching. The guilt was so heavy sometimes, at night especially.
As Marmee to this boy, the patches on his pants and the shine on his face reflecting the lake water are beautifully meaningful to me. His wonder in the moment is my healing of the guilt I carried as a mom. It’s a glorious gift from God Himself. The prayers are still working, yes, those prayers for his mom are being answered here. I’m humbled and grateful.
This morning Havilah decided to sit beside us during church. She came in shivering from having just arrived through the chilly November morning; so I gave her the circle of my arm. She gratefully snuggled. Later in the morning she initiated a hands game with me. Grandpa noticed and reached over covering both our hands in his big warm hand. She basked in that moment of both of us focusing on her little game with us.
I remember both my grandpas fondly. They were highly interested in influencing their many grandchildren and they did. I miss them intensely sometimes. I want to ask them my questions. Their example motivates me to continue to make a difference in every way I can in the lives of each our grandchildren. It will take all the rest of our lives. There must be no wasted days.