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Reflections on a Gift of Aging- Grandparenthood

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This week the most glorious event occurred in my life. I became a grandmother. I have a new title, a new role, a new position in my family and in society. But what lies behind the letters in the title and the position on the family tree is an explosion of love.

Psychology Today calls Grandparenthood," a baggage free relationship". I say quite to the contrary- this new adventure is marvellously laden with adult baggage which I hope to use wisely in new territory.

I am in awe over this experience, its miraculous dimensions and how it wove itself  intricately into the fabric of my life within seconds. In the time it took for that tiny heart to beat once my world was forever changed. I face a new responsibility now,to carry on the fine reputation of grand parenting which is the history of this family. I ponder this task very seriously.

There are so many layers to contemplate now that the pre natal worry and anticipation have turned into a small, blinking, pink faced reality of love:

The tiny infant himself, Finn, and how vast is the space this  little man occupies in my heart already. As he peers out at me from those baby blues I wonder at what he sees and what he perceives this strange new world to be. I contemplate his future, what will this world offer my beloved grandson? Will he have a life more gifted with ease than struggle? I have pulled out all the stops in my prayers for such an outcome for this child.

My son has become a Father. This is surely the most amazing trick that life plays on us - our babies grow up in what seems like a week and then one day they hold their own tiny progeny. The first time I heard the new Father utter the  the words, "my son", I wept. Watching his tender and protective hands around his child leaves me jumbled and tumbling through time.

The enormous gratitude I have for my daughter in law who may soon grow weary of hearing me say, "thank you" but what else can I say for such a gift? One day your child brings home his new love and she enters your life as a person to whom you are forever indebted, first because of the goofy look your son has on his face when he sees her and then because she has produces a tiny family miracle.

The delicate balance of sharing this child with another set of equally loving grandparents. The emotions this raises and the prayers I have said for my better side to emerge with these kind people. I wish to share well and to rejoice in the love my grandson will receive from all his family members. But I am human so I worry that my cupcakes and knitting will not be up to snuff. I forget for a moment that children have an unlimited capacity to accept love, God was wise in this blessed characteristic.

The new relationship with my ex husband,sharing the evolving best results of our former marriage. There are many things to regret when a marriage has failed but our children and then their children are never among those regrets.Instead the next generations stand as witness to the fact that even life's failures contain great gifts of joy.

The fierce need to confront my own longevity and to pray for time to see this child grow. I will rush out and buy more vitamins and I promise this baby boy as he he blinks up at me that I will walk every day and go to yoga,if not religiously, at least consistently.

I am in love, I am grateful,I am amazed. I am upside down and spinning, worried and awed.
The whole relationship between size and impact has been distorted by this 6 lb 13 oz wonder. He weighs in at about the weight of a small bag of oranges and yet his ripple in the pond is a tsunami on the shores of my life.

Welcome Finn, may you always know the love which surrounds you today and may it fill your heart and carry you lightly through life, whatever your personal adventure is to be.