Like writing about my eldest son’s wedding, I knew writing about my younger son’s son – my grandson – would take a bit of time. You see, my brain is still trying to wrap itself around the idea of being a grandmother. Not because I feel old, but rather because it’s simply one of the most surreal feelings I’ve ever experienced. Right up there with becoming a mom for the first, second, and third time. And getting married. You spend a lot of time after these events wondering if this beautifulness is real.
The moment I saw my son’s tears as he stood over his own new son, I knew it was real. But I couldn’t quite grasp the reality of it, this new phase, this wondrous miracle of a little person, changing so many lives on that spring evening. On a Sunday, a day of rest, his mother labored and gifted us all with this little man, a much-loved bit of heaven with an impressive head of hair.
He is smiling and cooing and laughing now, and the time is already flying by. It goes faster when your days aren’t spent as the caregiver, when you are more looking on versus hands on. It’s a different role, and I am still adjusting. As I lean more into the changing role of motherhood, it is the role of grandmother that baffles me now.
Still, the role might feel surreal, but the FEELINGS themselves are just overwhelming at times. It isn’t the same as parenting, as birthing your own child, and it isn’t less than or more than. You just kind of look at your own child and shake your head…because weren’t you just a tiny baby yourself? And now you’re a man with your own tiny baby (or chunky monkey, as the case may be with our little man!), and HOW DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN?
Sometimes I hold my grandson while he sleeps and I just stare at his face with his chubby cheeks and long eyelashes. I can’t help but find myself flipping through memories of his father. Almost 20 years have flown by and we are not who we were then, yet we are the same. He is still this beautiful, soulful baby boy of mine, and I am still this mother who wants to hold on forever. And yet, as always, I will have to pull myself away and release.
I hug my grandson’s parents before I go, but it’s the little man I kiss a dozen times over. I know once I walk out the door, he will change yet again. In the hours and days that pass, when I see him again, he’ll be bigger, doing something new, and time will keep ticking. I try to hold my eyes wide open when I’m with him because I already made the mistake of blinking with his father, and look what happened there.
But time keeps marching, and I keep kissing that sweet baby face and those chunky little feet, and they get a little bigger each time, and so does my heart, even though I never could have imagined any one little person could have made it grow so much more. As I sit at my desk, hours after a visit, I can still smell him, his special baby smell, and so I breathe it in, savoring the warmth of love as it floods my system. Yes, this is all surreal, and it’s my life, and I am so blessed and excited to experience every piece of it.
MORE PICTURES HERE — AND MORE PICTURES SOON!
*Pictures that include me were taken by Tanya Mello