Thanks for joining me again after I’ve taken some time off from my blog to have a cherished grandchildren week. Not much time for the pleasures of sitting in a quiet room, with a cozy fire and a great cup of coffee while I read, write and find my creative spot when you have two babies under the age of two. I believe I’ve discovered the answer for me to lose some weight and get in shape, it is to take care of two babies everyday! I’ve told my daughter, Rachel that her best gym membership is Jude and Sam.
The day after the 11-hour drive from DC to Kentucky the blizzard hit. Later that day Phil, our son in law, was hoping for pictures of them playing in the snow. He text and asked if we had been out to play in the snow yet? We hadn’t. We were having our own whirlwind blizzard of two babies checking out every inch of this new place they were visiting while Pops and I set up toy areas, gates, diaper stations upstairs and downstairs. He said that we should have grace bestowed upon us after that long drive. I agreed. So we rested up and counted this a recovery day before we ventured out into the icy cold snow.
The next day, after naptime, we forged our way into the winter wonderland. There is nothing cuter than bundled up babies stuffed down into a puffy down snowsuit, adorable little mittens and hats and tiny little snow boots. They look like little penguins unable to do anything but waddle. They have shivering lips; chapped cheeks, running noses and can hardly turn their heads side to side. We make an attempt at a quick snowman and then most importantly get photos. When it gets so unbearably cold we run inside, throwing off our hats creating the best static hair, cold bodies and wet clothes everywhere…this is making lifelong family memories.
I love every minute with these sweet babies- every look, every word and every hug. My daughter and son in law are such amazing parents. I’ve always thought so but I am reminded just how amazing as day four draws to a close. These mornings with the babies are earlier than expected but sweeter than imaginable. Sam is our early riser- at least for our family. I pretty much taught our kids the motto of “no one gets up until the sun says so.” Rachel has tried to carry that out with her kids but Sam isn’t leaning that way, must be the Maucieri side! So far 5:00-6:00 a.m. is his preferred wakeup call. After a half asleep diaper change and a morning bottle I put him back in bed with me as if he would really go back to sleep, it turns into a wrestling match and he always wins.
Full days on our own with these precious little balls of energy are priceless when you don’t live nearby. We try to make every moment count. After getting them both to bed tonight I was pondering the irony that when you are young you have the energy to chase babies all day long but not all the experience and wisdom we have when we are older. Then as grandparents we have the experience and wisdom but not the energy. I thought that odd until I thought about why God would do that. I realized to be consistent with His character He can’t give us the whole enchilada because he knows us well enough to know we need to rely on Him in order to make it successfully through this role and all others we would play. There are no accidents with God- he is purposeful and does everything for our good. I love that about God. He knows exactly what our need is before we do. We must wait, ask, listen and obey in faithfulness everyday.
It’s impossible to be a grandparent without reflecting on our own parents as our children’s grandparents. I play the scenes back in my memory of my parents with our children and how sweet that is to me now, as I know the impact they made on our kid’s lives. Now I see my adult children are bits and pieces of these wonderful perfectly seasoned people we call grandma and grandpa (meme, nana, granny, pops, poppa, poppy). We give them something their parents can’t give them- a glimpse into their bloodline, their heritage, where they come from, where their people are from, story telling about the days gone by that these grandbabies will never know except for the stories told to them by their grandparents, aunts and uncles…. real life stories passed down generation to generation. The security from knowing they have roots and history, a story…the fact that they have a long line of people that lived and loved before them making it possible for them to take up the mantle and carry on what the ones before them began. They are important, needed and have a purpose in their life. The wrinkled hands that rock them to sleep and the unmistakable, somewhat weaker voice of a grandparent calling their name and singing to them songs passed down from their parents. I’m awe stuck by this gift.
Now that I’m a grandparent I understand what I could not understand when I was a young parent. I’m frustrated that I can’t do everything I once did. My heart wants to be stronger and younger again. I’m a little sad when I see that little baby turn into a walking, talking, singing, dancing toddler carrying on thoughtful conversations in simple but well thought out sentences…truly amazing. It draws a tear of joy when I hear my daughter tell her daughter something I told her when she was her age. I didn’t know my daughter heard me. They are listening to us, watching us, imitating us, thinking about us, learning from us, little bits everyday of their lives until one day they do the same thing all over again with their own children.
It’s a huge and overwhelming responsibility for us all. I dare not attempt it without Jesus leading me, I’m too afraid of hurting the lives I carry around that are more fragile than we ever dreamed. Easily damaged in this cruel world. I quiver at the thought of my babies getting hurt by thoughtless people. Hard as it is, it is inevitable, so they need to be loved, cherished, pointed to Jesus and deeply rooted in the heritage that belongs to them. They belong and that’s huge! I’m standing in the gap my little ones all the days of my life for you.