I have the privilege of having a part in my first grandchild’s life. Some days, it’s so exhausting that I am left with the “been there, done that” fatigue in my muscles and bones that forces me to go to bed at 8 PM. Other days, I am completely captivated by the wonder and potential of a new human being.
On these good days my mind goes to wandering about all the precious memories stored in my brain about raising my own four kids. It’s been a wild and wonderful ride. Taking a small part in the journey of new parenting brings me back.
1. I remember the absolute beauty and clarity of a child’s eyes. Imagine seeing the world as a child sees it. Looking through his eyes the world seems fresh and full of excitement. And mischief. Recalling the wonder makes the mischief more amusing.
2. I revel in the feel of soft baby skin once again. There is no other texture to compare to the pure, unblemished cheek of a child. I feel deep satisfaction stroking his sleepy cheek, encouraging him to nap.
3. I enjoy sharing things that are common to me, because they are a source of amazement to him. Playing with plastic bowls from the lower cabinet is a delight. We put bowls on our heads and turn them over and play them like drums. The ordinary is made new in the eyes of a child. My older children just look and me and say, “You’re goofy, Mom.”
4. I am grateful again for the joy of movement. While my knees sometimes ache, his legs move themselves across the house without a thought or a path. His effortless trek, punctuated with giggles and squeals, challenges Grandma to keep up and delights me with the display of new energy.
5. My ears remember the sounds of young children. The attempt to communicate joy and displeasure is completely understandable, if we take the time to learn their ways. And the greatest symphony in the world cannot compare to a child’s laugh.
What about you, mom? Are you in the thick of parenting and exhausted by its demands. Maybe it will ease your burden to know this: The challenges you face today will fade into memory.
When they have seen enough of the world, their eyes may become more cynical.
The ravages of puberty and hormones will eventually mar that baby-soft skin.
The commonplace will become boring, especially after the learn about computers and mp3 players.
The movement they are exploring will ultimately move them away from you, and believe it or not, you will someday miss having them there to chase around the house.
A child’s squeals may be replaced with arguing, or words you don’t want to hear.
So, for now, for this season, be present for it. Store all the goodness, beauty and newness away in your Mommy Memory and savor what is, because it seems to change in an instant.