When I was younger I used to make fun of those people who had ask me about my grandchildren bumper stickers on their cars and people who wore pictures of their grandchildren on t-shirts. Oh, and let’s not forget the world’s greatest grandma or grandpa t-shirts…then I became one.
Oh the joy I felt when Richard and Cheri told me they were expecting. I was on the road in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the call came around 10:30. I had just returned to the room exhausted from a grueling day of being on my feet at a trade show all day and entertaining prospective clients all evening. I was used to them calling me regularly and after the ‘how did the day go and were you able to get some shopping in?’ pleasantries they simply asked if I could look around to find a unique baby crib or cradle. People in the adjoining rooms must have thought I won the lottery or was crazy. I was on my feet, jumping up and down, clapping my hands and laughing hysterically. Funny how all that fatigue left immediately in the face of overwhelming happiness.
My daughter-in-law deserves more kudos than I can ever give her. She has always been conscientious of making sure that I don’t feel left out beginning with the wedding preparations and with the baby - she went above and beyond. One afternoon I received a call asking if I had lunch plans and if I wanted to meet her at the doctor’s office to hear the baby’s heart beat. Not only did I hear the baby’s heart beat, I saw my grandson for the first time…and I saw the look on my son’s face as he ran his fingers through his hair and said with awe and amazement, “I’m having a son, I’m having a son.”
The delivery was semi-scheduled and held yet another surprise… I was honored to be in the room with the two of them and Cheri’s mother as Hunter made his debut. It was the most remarkable, astounding, miraculous event I have ever witnessed. I’m not sure what the best part of the experience was; seeing him as he was born or seeing the look on their faces as they became parents for the first time. It mattered not it was the wee hours of the morning and we were running on caffeine and excitement or that no one had had any sleep except the grandfathers in the waiting room.
Two years later, Gage was born and that experience was just for the two of them…they had shared Hunter’s birth with all and they wanted this for themselves. Who could blame them? And so we waited. Two little boys – active, compassionate, witty, charming, intelligent – the perfect addition to any family.
I was lucky, until the first part of this year their house was next door in a pasture converted into a yard for scampering little boys and a dog named Spot. I could see them anytime I wanted, anytime I was not on the road that is. I loved getting out of my car and hearing them call, “Granna, come ‘ere, look at this…I wanna show you sump’n.”
However, they purchased a home in town and moved in February. It is only eight miles away but it was one of the reasons I decided to ‘retire’ early. I would have to schedule time to be with them. Both of the boys are involved in sports and church activities, of course there is school. Time is at a premium and I don’t want to miss a thing!
Today is Wednesday and we are a couple of months into a new family tradition, the boys ride the school bus (which their great-aunt drives) to my house. I help with homework, we play, they watch videos on my MySpace page or Hunter reads the most recent blog and we have a large family dinner before we head out to our respective churches for mid-week services. Ahhh…a grandsons fix…four o’clock can’t come fast enough!
I have been Granna for seven years, and while I have never been the babysitting, taking field trips, kind of grandmother, I am learning. I still do not have bumper stickers on my car or wear the grandparent t-shirts but I can understand those who do. There is no better feeling than that unconditional love, no sweeter sounding word… “Granna” I can almost hear them now…
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Phil. 1:3~NIV