The blessing of grandparenting can never be underestimated! I remember our old Pastor and father in the faith Norm Smallcombe saying that grandparenting was better than parenting. I could never imagine that being the case as I sooo loved being a mum. But I will never forget the moment I met our first grandbaby girl. Mickey was nearly 8 months before we saw her as we were living overseas at the time of her birth. She was amazing having the sweetest, most gentle nature. She was just getting a few words out and as her mum, my daughter, Sherri was undergoing tests and hospital rounds at the time, Mickey and I become fast buddies.
I was experiencing burnout at the time and very fragile. My recharge for my emotional batteries was time with family. Mickey was marvelous at helping that healing process. We sat, chatted, played with hoses and I helped teach her to walk. She was a delight to watch as her new cousin/sister Amiee entered the world. She was very protect and in awe of the new arrival. Our little Amiee Jessica Rose with the rosebud lips! My heart was so full with the first of these favourite grandbabies arriving on the scene.
I will never forget my heart break as the newly toddling toddler tried to follow me down the escalator to the waiting plane to take me back overseas. Talk about stab to the heart!
But we were privileged and I don’t use this word lightly as many grandparents don’t get the privilege to spend as much time as we have been able to, with our grandchildren; some not as much as we would have liked due to distance and a family crisis. We lived very closely to others for quite a few years. Let me indulge a little here in ensuring all of the gbabies are covered in my brag!
Then there were three as Tahlia arrived, a couple of years later. The little dot was such a cutie and had the most amazing head of hair and an incredibly beautiful smile. Joy is her middle name and she was that! My favourite third born had arrived.
The fourth to arrive was the first in our line of boys. Josiah came with an incredible time of breath holding – by his daddy and by me as we watched him not breathing for a few minutes after his birth. His mum is as mums do, tuned in and wanted to know why he wasn’t crying. I never lie but that day we spoke in faith despite what we saw, a blue lifeless baby, “He’s fine. He’s beautiful”. Enter gbaby 4 and our first grandson! I wasn’t quite sure how to work with appendages after so many girls but soon got the knack of changing diapers!
Then the fifth gbaby arrived…another boy Xavy came unexpectedly and we weren’t able to see him until he was a few months old but he is such a delightful little man – emphasis on the man. I wonder at this little whizz kid. So sensitive and thoughtful and wanting! “I want my debices!” being the cry many times after mum has confiscated the phones or ipads!
Number 6 Nathaniel was another unexpected baby but not for me! I knew on the day of the Josiah’s birth that there was one more to come for our daughter Sherri. At the time he wasn’t planned arriving at a very trying time with Josiah undergoing leukaemia treatment! What a little gift of joy, persistence, and character is this little one.
And then there were 7 with the arrival of Zoe this year! Her name means beautiful life and she has the loveliest smile, laugh and cuddles and has indeed brought life and love to her family.
All are our favourites, 1- 7 worth.
# 8. We are soon to meet another one of our adopted gbabies…Toby..looking forward to getting to know this young man and also maybe shoot some hoops with him!
We love them all so much and miss them as we travel around the world. What I didn’t expect was the phone call last night!
Two of the boys 4 and 6 made mum call us, “Can we come over to your house?” We are currently in the US they are in Australia! Hmm…
“Sorry buddies. It would take two plane trips, a train and car to get to you!”
“But Nanny you and Poppy and us can get a tent and go camping! Ok!” Stab to the heart! I really hadn’t realized just how much our gbabies miss us as we miss them. I felt blessed to be so apart of their lives.
I remember in 2010 returning from China after the huge earthquake in the Chengdu area when Paul was working on rebuilding a village there. An old lady we were caring for back in Australia had one surviving son she hadn’t talked to in 2 years. She had many possessions, homes and properties and chastised me for not having our own home at that time.
“You shouldn’t be going off doing stuff for the Chinese! (very prejudiced was our Maisie). You should be getting money and property together and not wasting your time on others!”
“Maisie,” I said quite assertively to this woman who was used to having her own way and opinion, “I have just come back from China where generations were wiped out due to the one child policy and death of children, grandparents, parents etc. I have three beautiful daughters, and lots of grandbabies. I am considered such a blessed woman. I am so rich it is ridiculous.” She never said another word to me again about acquiring “wealth”. However, at her funeral a couple of years later I found out that two years earlier, (about the time of our discourse) she contacted her son, and resumed relationship with him until her death! In fact I had the privilege of being with her as she passed and him being there.
We should never underestimate the relationship we have with the next generation or the responsibility to pray for not only our children but our grandchildren and their children. I love the old patriarchs in the Bible who were able to see down to that next generation and be around to enjoy having them sit on their knees. The west has lost something in our culture of the old not being part of the new! My girls were blessed and a blessing to their grandparents, nursing and being part of their lives on many important occasions. What a joy that was for them and for my girls?
Call your Mum and Dad. Invite them over for afternoon tea or a shopping outing. Do something to include them in your family. I love the internet now for allowing us to not be too separated by distance to be able to see and speak to our gbabies. Photos, videos, calls fly backwards and forwards between us all to stay connected. The best connection though is to keep praying for them as they manoeuvre this life.
I will never take for granted or forget the hugs and cuddles, afternoon teas, and times of beautiful food with my gbabies or the adventure walks dragging them along Nanny’s walks, cycling with the red cart, beach runs, life and death discussions, movies, and shoot outs at Laser tag! I certainly hope they remember.
Until next time