Posted on 29 August 2014 | Comments Off
I have avoided writing a blog for over a month because I simply didn’t know how to tell about this new man in my life. I don’t understand how I fell in love so quickly, so sweetly, so purely. This is not like me. I struggle with love and relationships but in this one there is no struggle I expect nothing from him. My love is unconditional.
I do not understand the depth of my feelings. I have never been a baby person. I don’t turn to mush when a baby enters the room – until Isaac. I suppose it has something to do with this fellow being the son of my son. I am only responsible for his being in that I am half responsible for his father being alive.
Isaac reminds me of Michael when he was a baby. I remember holding Michael as I now hold Isaac. I listen to Michael and Kenzie talk about their sleepless nights and I smile… I vaguely remember the lack of sleep but I no longer feel it in my bones.
This is the pleasure of being a grandparent and not a parent. I can cuddle the baby, change a diaper, feed him a bottle but if he becomes fussy, I can hand him back to his parents. I don’t have to make difficult decisions about his development or worry about spoiling him. Unlike his parents, I don’t have to multitask and work, pay bills or do the laundry while also trying to spend quality time with him. I like this grandmother role but I must admit, I don’t like being called grandma by anyone but my grandson… and it will take a little time before he is able to use this title.
I hated saying goodbye a couple of days ago because I will miss most of his first year, the year when he will grow from newborn to active toddler. He won’t know me the next time I visit. I remember when Michael was a baby and I left him with Rob’s sister for a week to visit Rob on a film set in Mexico. When I returned my sweet boy didn’t remember me (though it didn’t take long to re-establish our relationship.) Hopefully it will be the same with Isaac.
Before leaving Vancouver, we had a farewell family dinner at the White Spot and several older women (around my age) coo-ed at Isaac and said I am lucky to have a grandson. Rob’s mother used to sigh and say “I guess I’ll never be a grandmother” – before all her children obliged and collectively gave her nine. I have never thought about it, let alone longed for another baby in my life but now that the time has arrived, I am full of smiles and oh dear, I do subject my friends to many pictures of my adorable grandson.
I have done a little research in trying to understand the unadulterated joy I feel at holding Isaac in my arms and although a few women felt old when the title was bestowed on them, the majority feel the same joy as I do. I have learned also that the pleasure grows with time.
One women writes that she learns about being present to the moment from her grandchildren and that she aspires to be role model for them ”of ethical wisdom, emotional intelligence, generosity and kindness, respect for the environment, acceptance of life’s inevitable imperfections and challenges. Being one step removed from the front lines of child rearing, we grandparents have a precious opportunity to transmit the values we hold dear, with less risk of backlash. We also won’t be the target of teenage rebellion — another big plus.”
She also notes that being older, she knows what’s important: ”I don’t really care whether my grandchildren get into the Harvard of preschools — or the Harvard of Harvard, for that matter. Yes, I value education, but more than anything, I want the girls to be happy, healthy and live productive, richly satisfying lives. The addition of the prefix “grand” to “parenthood” means fewer expectations and agendas — as well the tensions that often go along with all those expectations and agendas.”
I especially like her idea that being a grandmother gives her “a free pass to act like an imbecile”. She can sing off-key, do any silly thing to show her grandchildren a good time, and they love her for it.
This new addition to our family’s life is a shared pleasure. Rob feels the same way I do. When Gill, Kenzie, and I wanted to go for a manicure, Rob was more than happy to babysit his grandson. (I haven’t seen the tender look he gives Isaac since our children were babies.) He wasn’t keen on returning to Vancouver until our grandson was born and now he wants to return as often as possible. We’re already planning a Christmas reunion. To hell with the expense. We will cut corners somewhere else.
Michael and Kenzie remind me of Rob and me when Brendan entered the world. We were so madly in love with our new son that every whimper had us running to his cradle. And although I think we were responsible people, we became even more so with the baby. Human beings are so helpless when they enter the world, and being responsible for his very existence made us more responsible about our own. When Michael recently told me that he is having crazy thoughts – about life insurance and college funds – I laughed. Is this my wild creative son who usually shuns such conservative things?
I watch Kenzie and him around Isaac and I am happy to report that my precious grand baby is in good hands. As my friend Helen reported to me before I arrived in Vancouver “ [Your grandson is] perfectly sublime and the parents are patient and in love. Isaac is blessed.