Things I’m Learning from My Grandson

My oldest daughter Anna gave us the sweetest gift last year by the name of Thatcher Edison Trent. I have officially lost my mind. I’ve heard so many grandparents say the very thing I am now experiencing myself -- having grandkids is the best gift of life. I get it. I don’t know why it takes us so many years to just chill out and enjoy the journey of life, but it does. And as I watch Thatcher-Man begin to explore and acquaint with his world, I observe in awe and wonder. As an infant, Thatcher is completely and totally dependent on others to meet his needs. He can’t walk, eat, eliminate by himself -- utterly and completely dependent. It is a tender and precious thing to watch good parenting. And sweet Anna and her husband Collin are good parents. I remember when Anna was born and I so desperately wanted to be a good mom. I remember thinking, “I am going to be such a good mom that my baby will never ever cry, because I will anticipate and meet each and every one of her needs.” Can you imagine? From the moment she was born (and was crying) I became, in my mind, an instant failure. It’s so sweet to watch Thatcher cry from time to time and to watch his parents ‘let’ him cry. They know it’s important for him to express his feelings. A little crying isn’t going to hurt anything. And if his physical needs have been completely met (eating, diaper, no pain, whatever) then it’s an important lesson they are teaching Thatcher -- that he can soothe himself. It’s so fascinating. All of that from a little bitty cry… but if you know me at all, I like to look underneath the surface. So, I’ve learned…

1.  It’s important to express your feelings. 2.  It helps you learn trust when those needs are met (as in the case of good parenting). 3.  I can soothe myself and it doesn’t always have to be about food -- wait, did I say that out loud? Ha. Yes, I think for me I always want to soothe myself and others with food. It’s a love language. But there are other more beneficial ways to soothe. 4.  Sometimes you just need a good cry.

_______ As Thatcher has begun to grow and become more mobile, it has been awesome to watch him take on his world. One day, I was watching him for Anna, as she was working, and I literally followed him all over his house. He crawled, scooted, pulled up, tasted many things, shook many things, was awed by many things. He wasn’t interested in WHERE he was going; he was just enjoying every second of the journey -- sometimes stopping and exploring right where he was, then moving on to the next thing that caught his eye. He put the things he found through his series of tests -- the taste test, the shake test, the drop test… I told Anna pretty soon he’ll be adding the flush test. He marveled and wondered, and hollered, and laughed. He tried to share some unidentifiable things with me. He took great delight in the journey itself… never mind the destination. And so, I’ve learned…

1.  Take time to see what is around us. Delight in it, enjoy it, share it, laugh about it, test it out. 2.  Not to be in such a hurry for the destination (who really knows what that is anyway) -- simply enjoy the traveling and the sojourning. 3.  Life is a compass not a stopwatch. We have time for a few side trips here and there. 4.  I have also learned that grandparents and babies share the same nap schedule. No wonder we get along so well.

Because it all matters, Sandi IMG_0607

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