Love You Forever
When my children were young, of course, I loved them with my whole being. Like the Robert Munsch story, in my head I kept saying, “I’ll love you forever. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” Still, there was always my job as a parent to help them grow into responsible, loving people. I did my best to teach them about caring for others. I had values, I wanted them to learn especially when it came to respecting others. I believed it was my job to help them become the best they can be. For me that responsibility was precious, fulfilling, essential. Sometimes it meant that I was angry with the things they did. Sometimes it meant that I was overjoyed with their accomplishments. Through it all, deep down I loved them.
My relationship with my grandchildren is different. I am no longer responsible for helping them grow into responsible adults. That’s their parents’ task. I have only two jobs with my grandchildren. The first is to love them, just love them unconditionally. That is pure pleasure. When they were two, together we stuck our fingers into the cake icing and experienced that yummy sweet stuff on our tongues as we licked our fingers. By the time they were five, we cuddled and read that just one more story making bedtime a little bit late. During their bath time we splashed water on the floor. As teenagers, I listened unconditionally to their stories. The pressure is off and it feels wonderful.
My second task with my grandchildren is to live what I believe, to make sure that my values shine through. I believe that all people are God’s beloved children. I believe that we are called to care for others and share our many blessings. As a senior, the busyness of life, the worries about tomorrow, the fears of what could happen, do not have to blind my heart to living as an example for my grandchildren. There is such a long list of things I wish I had done with my children. I can turn those wishes into reality with my grandchildren.
Best of all, I can hold in the forefront of my mind that these grandchildren are God’s precious blessings in my life. They are gifts given for me to love. I don’t have to have expectations of them. Once again that’s their parents’ jobs. I can relax and love them. Thank you God.