Those about to become grandparents began the journey long ago with the birth of their own children. From the moment you know you are pregnant, your heart grows attached to that child. While the child grows inside your own body, there is a closeness, a communion that is fluid and spiritual as well as physically obvious. Birth binds your heart to the child more tightly. I remember the first time my father-in-law held my newborn son. I was sure he was going to drop Eric, he held him so casually, so confidently, whereas I wanted Eric to be held close. Labor still fresh in my mind, I held him like one does the most beloved treasure. I remember that inside me a roaring protective emotion reared and I very nearly snatched Eric away from his own grandfather! Andrea says that when Joey first came home from the hospital, she had him resting with her on the sofa. Andrea is a dog lover and she was relaxed with her beloved dog, Mario’s presence in the room, but when he leapt up on the sofa, Andrea’s arm went out and swept the dog off, flinging him to the floor. She reacted reflexively, without thinking, because when Joey was born, so was this fierce, dedicated love for him. When your children are growing in your home, their welfare is what you fall asleep thinking about and it is the thought that awakens you. As they grow up, they gain independence and confidence. Step by step, each accomplishment, each trial, each bit of understanding they gain means that in a terrible, wonderful way, they separate from you. It has to happen; you work and pray daily to make it happen.
But when you become a grandparent, the best moments are given back to you.