My father had an insane love for his grandchildren. They were all perfect, and in his opinion they all looked just like him. A joke the grandchildren would share to this day. They were all his favourite, and he told each one just that. His patience, his gentleness, his special love was felt by each one of them. And sometimes I wondered just who this man was. As a young child, I knew him as a disciplinarian. You knew you were the apple of his eye, but yet still you never took the chance to be on his wrong side, and you did all you could to make sure you always did what he wanted you to do. As an adult, you realised that everything he did was for your benefit.
So, when grandchildren came into the picture, and this guy’s face softened visibly at each birth, visit, hug, you knew that this thing called grandparenthood could change your life forever. And it certainly has.
Living away from your children is one thing. Living away from your grandchildren is a totally different ball game. Facetiming as often as you could, smiling from ear to ear with each babble. And when you finally meet, losing yourself with the slip of a small hand in yours, your heart melting at the sound of your name coming from their lips, you know your life has changed forever. It feels as if your heart will burst with love, but it only grows and expands to adapt to all the indescribable emotions that come with being a grandparent.
No one can prepare you for this. And jokingly, I tease my children that I love my grandchildren more than I do my very own. But it is different. You’re at a stage of your life when you can easily shake off your adulting duties and once again experience the wonder of the world through their eyes. Their innocence and awe of life softens you. And you now begin to truly enjoy the simple things in life. The beauty of a ‘baby flower’ at the side of the road. The awesomeness of a tractor cutting grass. The imagination of fishing with a stick and catching leaves. The excitement of skating down the driveway laughing a belly-laugh like it’s the best thing in the world. The deep chuckle at the sound of a stone ‘kplunking’ into the water. The colours of a rainbow.
It’s a joy bestowed upon many. And I’m ever so blessed to be one of them.