On Being A Grandmother…

GrandmaAtlasBF9.3.16

It was something I couldn’t understand when my own three children were little. I would hear grandparents gush with love and pride about their grandchildren, if they had them it was all they seemed to talk about. What I felt was that of course I would love the grandchildren I would hopefully have one day, but I couldn’t imagine loving them more than I did my own children. Little did I know how swept away I would be by these little ones. Grandchildren are the purest, sweetest, most magical thing in the world to me, it’s not that you love them more than you do your children, you love them in a different kind of way. You are awestruck, nearly speechless with a sense of devotion, you feel blessed beyond measure, and prouder of your children than you ever dreamed possible in a world where you were already bursting with love and pride for them. My four grandsons are the lights of my life, they are my angels. And for me there’s more.

I was adopted. I remember when I held my first daughter, Jennifer, for the first time, I was absolutely overcome with the idea that this baby was the first person in my whole life who was my own flesh and blood. I felt that way with my other two children, Rachel and Aaron, as well. Now they all three have their own children and what that means for me is a lineage, my children’s children. It just about takes my breath away. I am full of love and get almost teary thinking about them.

This past weekend my youngest, my son Aaron, was in town with his sweet wife Stephanie and their 3 month old baby, Atlas, who is above in my arms. It was the first time I met him because they live in Atlanta and I just went over the moon when I held that wee small boy for the first time. He is so soft and has that wonderful baby smell, and he is chunky and squeezeable and kissable and I just wanted to eat him UP! It is so hard to live so far away from the grandchildren who live out of town. My eldest daughter Jennifer has my sweet grandsons, 4 year old Pierce and 1 year old Silas, in Chicago, and that is so far away but they just came home for a visit last month and will be here for a Christmas visit. Never enough, but greatly appreciated whenever they can come. I am incredibly lucky that my middle child, my daughter Rachel, lives here with her husband and my grandson Lucas who is almost 12 1/2. He has been my bright shining star since he was born, I was at his birth, and babysat for him when Rachel went to graduate school, and I get to see him here. I adore him, as I do Pierce, Silas, and Atlas. These boys are the apples of my eye.

I watch each of my children and their wonderful spouses parent their children in the most loving way and it touches my heart so deeply. I cherish each one of my children and we feel very fortunate that all three of our inlaws, Jeremy, Andrew, and Stephanie, are such beautiful people, we love them dearly. Watching them shepherd the boys out into the world from the safety of their loving homes is a deeply touching thing. Seeing them find their way as parents, make decisions about how they will do things, observing them as they tenderly care for their little ones just fills me with such pride. In the midst of my life which can at times be very difficult living with bipolar disorder my family represent the stars in the firmament of my life. My children are the bright, shining stars and their children are the twinkling lights around them. They are what I hold onto on my darkest days. Their light shines on my path and helps me believe that everything will be alright. Our children and our grandchildren are the future.

I will carry this weekend in my heart for some time and remember holding little Atlas, nuzzling and kissing him, and sitting next to sweet Lucas at dinner, and the visit last month with Pierce and Silas. There is never enough time to be with them all but I treasure every moment that I have. Being a grandmother is one of the greatest joys in my life and watching these little boys grow is one of my deepest pleasures. I will revel in watching them, and being with them when I can. I am deeply moved just sitting here thinking about them and when I will see each of them again.

Finally the grandchildren help form the web of family as it extends in every direction. Last night my ex-husband was there, as was Rachel’s husband Jeremy’s father, and Stephanie’s father and brother. I felt a kind of warmth spreading around the room at the dinner table, a warm glow, real love and caring, and it was so sweet I am still smiling about it today. Aaron walked me out to my car and said we need to Skype so we can be in closer touch and I am looking forward to that. Watching my family even if from afar is a blessing indeed.

And so I will head to bed now, tired but happy, and I will be thinking of my children and grandchildren. My heart is full. There is nothing greater than this…

MaitriSz4.4.16.09

 

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Comments

  1. Indeed. Nothing greater.

  2. Susan Phelps says:

    All you said applies to me with my 4 nieces, 2 great-nephews & 2 great-nieces. They are all the children I could never have, because my late husband & I met too late in our lives for us to have children of our own. And now, that I’m lucky enough to have found love again, even later in my life, I hold “my kids” in my heart, & with joy, watch them grow into wonderful adults. Nurturing mothers’ love depends mostly on what’s in your heart!

    • What a beautiful family you have Susan, I know you must enjoy all the little ones immensely. I’m so happy for you. And I’m happy that you found love again, that is a real blessing.

      God bless you honey, enjoy!

      Love,

      Maitri

  3. Ever since I found you earlier this year, I have felt such a strong kinship with you, if even only through your writing. The commonalities we share in our lives — in our stories and who we are, and where we’re headed in the second half of our lives, even down to our friendship with sweet Bekah — often leave me awestruck. I’ve been wanting to share this with you for some time now, and after reading what you’ve written here, I decided the time has come.

    I have 4 children and 4 grandchildren, and just found out 2 days ago the fifth will be arriving in March. I go to bed tired every night as my oldest daughter, Rachel, and her 3 children, Abby (13), Hannah (9) and Jamie (4) have been living with me for close to past 5 years. I’ve been thinking about how children are a gift but grandchildren… they are the reward. And rewarded we both are, as well as all others who have been so blessed to have children in their lives, no matter how they got there.

    I homeschooled my children and often reflect on how blessed I was to be able to so intensly relive childhood over, and over, and over again, each time through 4 delightfully unique perspectives. And how lucky I am to be able to do so again, especially where Abby, Hannah and Jamie are concerned, with the same intensity, because we share a home. It isn’t always easy, that’s for sure, but it is always a blessing of wondrous proportion.

    • Meryl, what a lovely post here, thank you so much. It is lovely to feel that kinship with another, isn’t it? And what a wonderful family you have, the children and the grands, and the extended family in one house I always find deeply touching.

      We homeschooled our children too, all the way through highschool and then they went off to college and their lives. It was one of the most joyful and rewarding things. I think back on those years so tenderly and really miss the days when my kids were all still at home so I do know what you mean. And now to see them all married with their own children is such a beautiful miracle and blessing, I feel the richness and the beauty of it all the time.

      I hope you are well, and at peace, amidst your busy household. Bless you dearheart…

      Love,

      Maitri

  4. Absolutely beautiful, Maitri. Thank you for sharing the wonder and awe of this kind of unconditional love.

    • Thank you so much Cathryn, you are very dear, and Happy Birthday! I hope you have the most wonderful birthday ever!

      I love you sweet pea…

      Maitri 🙂

  5. Maitri, this is a lovely essay and so joyful sharing the experience of your grandchildren. Thank you for your heart, your love, your brightness. love, Shari

    • Shari thank you so much honey, it makes me so happy knowing that it touched you in some way, and you are most welcome dearheart. You honor me with your kind words.

      Blessings and Love,

      Maitri

  6. As you know Maitri, I too was adopted, so I understand perfectly the importance that children, grandchildren and lineage mean to us. We are no longer on a little island afloat all alone. We have blood ties that extend beyond us. However, my stepdaughter gave us our beautiful granddaughter Maddie, and I couldn’t love her more if she were my own flesh and blood. So there it is…two sides of the same special love we have for our precious grandchildren. Thank you for your beautiful words and for articulating how I feel…something that I am not able to do as beautifully as you do! You are such a gift! Sending you love and a big hug! ???

    • Thank you so much dear Donna, and yes, your granddaughter is a special jewel in your life and I know how loved she is and what a gift she is to you. That is so wonderful. Two sides of the same special love indeed. Enjoy her and you have another new baby on the way don’t you (Or am I dreaming that?) 🙂 Here’s to the love of family, however it comes, and may the special blessings of the little ones light our way with their innocence, purity and magic…

      Love you honey,

      Maitri

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