Now that I have the honor and the privilege of caring for two of my grandchildren, I have the time to really look at the miraculous event of new-born babies and human growth. It is amazing. When I was pregnant, I knew that a human being was forming in my womb. I read a lot about the process and the birth and what I could possibly expect. I was as ready as I could be ahead of time. But pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing is a hands on, learn – as – you - go type of thing. I think it is best to be prepared and not go into it blindly. But the real learning is in the trenches.
When grand parenting comes along and you are able to be involved in their lives, it is a whole new ball game. It is a wonder - wonder |ˈwəndər|nouna feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable : he had stood in front of it, observing the intricacy of the ironwork with the wonder of a child.• the quality of a person or thing that causes such a feeling : Athenswas a place of wonder and beauty.• a strange or remarkable person, thing, or event : the electric trolley car was looked upon as the wonder of the age.• [as adj. ] having remarkable properties or abilities : a wonder drug.• [in sing. ] a surprising event or situation : it is a wonder that losses are not much greater.
The trenches are furnished and comfortable. You get to hand the child over to your child and just watch and wonder. You see how all you went through has paid off. You see your “baby” handle their babies with love and patience and things you tried hard to instill in them (and occasionally wondered if it worked, only to find out it did!).
Looking into the face of a few week old baby and seeing traits of your family and their mother’s family is indescribable. What a miracle. All parts put together in such a way to form a totally unique individual.
Now begins the part where the parents, grand parents, and others who influence this newly formed human being, get to mold and shape them the way they were meant to be. The bible states in Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent), and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Seems that a lot of bible believers think this is limited to raising them into their beliefs. While that may be true, the verse implied that we should keep with the way each child is bent, their individual gifts. Here is where the work begins. Who is this little person that was inside us and made with our love together? That all gets unfolded as their lives grow before us. Finding their gifts and the way they are can be difficult. It means to pay attention. I marvel when I see a small child act a certain way that can be so easily misconstrued. Sometimes their behaviour can really mean – hey, look at me, I really love horses – or whatever the case may be.
I hope my husband and I did well in this area. I’m sure we weren’t perfect at this. But I do know that I have spent much of my adult life trying to be free and find my “bent” and gifts in this life. I was raised to be like my parent. I think it was easier for her, a single mom, to raise me to do things her way and her way only. It was hard growing up under that. I do not blame her. She did the best she could and what she knew. What that upbringing did for me was to teach me to think for myself and therefore help my children to be their selves. I relate very closely to the little girl in the Disney movie Brave. I just didn’t and couldn’t fight for myself as a child.
So, as a grand parent, I can do that for my grand children. It is pure joy to speak life and hope in them. I want nothing more than to see them know who they are and to grow into who they were made to be. It is truly a Wonder!