I Have A Granddaughter

It’s been one week.

One week ago my daughter gave birth to a baby girl, and everything changed. She became a mother; her husband, a father. My other kids are now aunts and uncles.

And I’m a grandmother.

Everybody said Oh, it’s the best thing ever! Life begins when you get grand babies! There’s nothing like it! You’ll wish you had grandkids first!

I took it all in stride, assumed it would, indeed, be awesome, and fully anticipated the approaching life-change with some small anxiety – giving birth is, after all, no small thing – and incredible excitement.

My daughter and her husband live out of state – a 12-hour drive – and as her due date came and went, I found my anxiety level increasing. The opportunity to be with a dear friend as she laid her beloved mother to rest made the first leg of the journey precious and poignant; so I travelled, and I waited. The second leg included an overnight stay and the good company of family that I hold near and dear to my heart. Then I travelled more, and I waited.

The call came in the middle of the night, and so I headed towards the final destination. When the baby arrived, I experienced a surge of joy and all manner of emotions that are difficult to name; a huge expansion, a flood of something primal that seemed to encapsulate every good thing that has existed ever since time began.

I know; that seems a bit much. Hyperbole, perhaps. But there is some deep witness to the rootedness of life and birth, the merging of a man and a woman, the propagation of humanity. To be present as life begins, as the first breaths are drawn; it is sacred and holy and raw, a singular testimony to the mysteries that surround our time on earth – from whence we come, and where we go.

The promise of glory and grace that was and is to come, bending time and space, merging life and death, crossing the void from the unknown to what is here, now, and tangible.

Yes, I felt all that.

Everybody said, Oh, you’ll just love being a grandma, but nobody said, Oh, you’re going to experience a transformational, existential awakening that will rock you to the core and you will, thereafter, tread more lightly on this earth.

But I did.

My time here has been filled with divine moments. I told a friend, I have learned a new method of living the contemplative life; my granddaughter, in my arms. Yesterday, the baby laid on my chest as my daughter rested her head on my hip. Both of them sought sleep; I stayed awake, cradling the youngest and stroking the hair of her mother as they burrowed into me, and I thought, This moment; this moment holds the essence of my very being. 

We all long to know our purpose; we seek it in work and relationships, through achievement and accomplishments. We do good things; things that matter. This has challenged me, for all of my 50-plus years; who am I? What value do I have? Who sees me? Who knows me? For whose approval do I live? My tradition demanded that I know the “right answer”, but it remained a struggle. I think, truthfully, that struggle is real for all of us, this side of heaven. It requires daily assessment and attitude adjustment. When I became more serious about following Jesus, rather than “being Christian”, that daily work became more transformative, and life-giving.

And within that transformation, resting in the reality of all that my life entails, I have felt my soul slip even further into the sweet spot of its purpose. Truthfully, it feels a lot like last night’s scene on the couch: Clutching a newborn whose bloodline is my own, while the girl – now woman – who brought forth that baby finds peace in my presence.

I am a mother; I have a daughter; in fact, I have three daughters and two sons.

I am a grandmother; I have a granddaughter.

My heart’s desire from this vantage point is to grow into a wise old woman. Having a granddaughter is a natural next step. It has certainly helped me to simply be here now, be present to the moment, embrace what is in front of me with gratitude, and accept the abundant life promised.

For which I am exceedingly grateful.

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6 thoughts on “I Have A Granddaughter

  1. Although I’ll never get to experience this, I totally “get” the way it has impacted your soul, and it gladdens my own soul so much to hear about your exquisite peace and joy. So, so happy for you all. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautifully said. I still feel that way with all eight of mine!! A joy that I can’t even find words for. Treasure every minute, every hug, every smile and just wait until that little girl puts her arms around you and says “I love you gramma “. That’s pure joy. So happy for you.

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  3. hi Beth!!!!

    I love you.

    I am one of the ones… I know that …that told you about how it was for me to be a grandparent.

    What is left out in my story … is …. that this … was only the beginning….it took me a while before the full effect of it sink in… each moment, each new thing as a grandparent compiled and like the grinch … my heart grew just when I didn’t think it could anymore…. I was proved wrong once again. That purpose for me grew, every day, every month and continues to do so every single day. A day with a grandchild for an “empty nester” is a gift …. that keeps on giving ❤

    I love you and am a little jelly that you have so many kids to have the potential of entire team of grandbabies ❤ ❤ awwww I can only imagine .

    Love you
    Anjie

    Like

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