A Grandmother Again

A Grandmother Again

From Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul

A Grandmother Again

Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever-fresh and radiant possibility.

Kate Douglas Wiggin

Each time is like the first time. I’m a grandmother again.

Ryan was my first grandchild, and I thought nothing could surpass the feeling. He expanded my life the moment I felt his finger curl around mine. My world was never the same again.

Jenny blew in during a snowstorm, and the moment she set her dark eyes upon mine, I was her prisoner.

Jake’s smile was in his eyes, and when he opened them during our introduction, I wondered how I could have thought life was complete without his presence.

And now my daughter-in-law Liz has given birth to Ben. I think of him as gentle Ben because, though his cry is gusty, his gaze is thoughtful and I sense a gentleness within his soul—one I can’t wait to share.

I will need time with this fourth grandchild, for we have important moments to fill and life to study. The clouds especially. I have much to say about clouds. I don’t think we pay enough attention to the sky. I want to look up with Ben and see what we can find up there. Raindrops can be interesting if you try to catch them in your mouth as they fall. Snowflakes can be just as enticing, especially when they add up to a snowman or a sleigh ride. And the wind—we can’t forget the wind blowing an autumn leaf from a tree. Perhaps we could follow it down the path. Ben and I have a lot to do together.

Exploring is one of them. Growing things in the summer and chasing worms and ants, and playing with pebbles and dirt—we will find time for all of this, as well as sitting next to one another and just thinking. Or telling stories. Or sharing feelings. Ben and I can do that any time. I’ll clear my schedule.

I don’t want to rush Ben. But I have so much to share. A big porch with seashells on it. Rocking chairs eager to be filled. A first trip to the ocean. A walk through the sand. The search for sea glass.

I am not the only one waiting. My animal family waits. I have cats that will purr this baby to sleep and a dog that will wash his face with affection. My songbird will teach him beauty; the turtles, patience; the fish, serenity. I will show this child how animals love and give and share and take away loneliness. When he is old enough, we shall sleep in the big bed together. I will assure this new grandchild that when there is a nightmare floating around, the cats and the dog will chase it away.

There are limits to the things I can do. I cannot solve eating problems, sleeping problems, potty-training problems or disciplinary problems, except when they occur on my time and property. Instead, I shall concentrate my efforts on the really important matters in life. I shall make sure the outside birdfeeder is filled so Ben and I can watch the birds dine. I will make certain we have a full supply of coloring books and crayons. I shall always set aside time for the urgent business of sucking lollipops and slurping ice cream. And I shall try never to be too busy for a game of marbles, or too rigid to break a rule now and then.

Ben will remind me of the important matters in life, such as smiling and laughing and skipping and crawling and jumping and running and whispering special secrets to each other. We will explore winding roads and backyard mysteries, and each day will hold a new discovery.

For everything in this world, it will be his first time.

And a first time for me, again.

Harriet May Savitz

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