JOYS AND FEARS
(Guest Contributor-Kelly Weaver)
Lennon Elizabeth arrived one week early on Sunday, March 20th at 7:05 pm weighing 5 lbs. 15 oz and measuring 18 ¾ inches long. She is a beautiful healthy baby and everything is going well. Kelly said, “I was not prepared for the love in my heart for that little girl and I cried when I held her (as did my mother!).” Adding, “You hear that being a grandparent is the best, but you don’t truly know until you are there. I look forward to the many moments of joy she will bring to our lives.”
This summer our daughter and son-in-law made an announcement that took my breath away and, somewhat unexpectedly, brought me to tears. They’re pregnant! This will be our first grandchild. While I am excited, I feel a bit unprepared for my new role but I guess I will figure it out along the way. Just like I did as a parent! Like any change in life, embarking on this new journey brings with it both fears and joys.
1. My husband’s biggest fear is that the baby won’t be healthy or our daughter will have complications. He had the same fear when I was pregnant with her. Given that she’s been feeling well, as I did during my pregnancy, and extreme complications are rare, this is one fear that doesn’t keep me up at night. I’m more worried about how their puppy will react.
2. I think my biggest fear is not overstepping my bounds and being “that” mother/mother-in-law. Our daughter and her husband only live a couple of miles from us, and we have a great relationship. I have always been the parent that couldn’t wait to share all my knowledge and wisdom with my daughter as she was growing up. I will need to police those tendencies and perhaps bite my lip at times when new methods don’t match up with the ‘way it used to be’.
3. Selfishly, I am embarrassed to admit one of my fears is a possible loss of freedom. My husband and I are just becoming used to being ‘empty nesters’ and taking opportunities to do things we haven’t done for a while or doing things as just the two of us. Will being a Grandma take away from other leisure time activities? I shouldn’t be worried based on what I hear from other grandparents. We’ll likely find that we can choose ‘Grandma and Grandpa time’ over any other activity.
I am blessed that there are many fears I do not have. I don’t worry about family discord, being separated by long distances, or having my grandchild raised in a different faith tradition.
1. My daughter and her husband celebrated their first wedding anniversary this fall. While she hasn’t lived in our house for a few years, it’s been a transition of separation since the wedding. It’s been wonderful to witness her in her new fully adult role as a wife. The joy of seeing her as a mother will be even greater. That joy will be compounded by the fact that she will be accompanied in that journey by a loving husband ready to take on his role as a new father. What more could a parent ask for?
2. My husband is so looking forward to the things he can do with his grandchild. His first favorite thing will be snuggling up on the couch with a sleeping child reminiscent of the times when our daughter was young. Of course, other activities on his list will be camping, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and trips to Storybook Land.
3. I too look forward to activities with our grandchild because it allows us to be a positive influence in their life. To share our faith, to be awed by their outlook on the world, to encourage them to be themselves, and to be their biggest fan. I think one of the joys of grandparenthood comes from being able to ‘be present’ in their world in a way that parents are not always able to be. We have a calm demeanor that comes from life experience and the lack of responsibility for the daily duties of raising a child.
I remember when my daughter was born and my father held her for the first time. He was so in awe of this little being and how everything about her was so tiny. He was particularly enthralled with her delicate fingers. Granted, it had been a long time since his own children were born but it was almost as if he had never seen a baby before. He often said, “If I had known how much fun grandchildren were, I would have had them first! “
With that in mind, I can only hope to approach the birth of my own grandchild with a sense of wonder and joy. (And it will be fun to see my dad’s reaction to his first great-grandchild!)
Kelly Weaver lives in Aberdeen, South Dakota and spends her days helping people in northeast South Dakota realize their small business dreams by providing guidance and business planning services. For the past 9 years, she has coordinated the BIG Idea Competition, a business idea competition for high school students. In her free time she enjoys singing in her church choir and camping and snowmobiling with family and friends throughout the year. She and her husband, Jim, have one daughter and son-in-law and are anxiously and excitingly waiting the arrival of their first grandchild.
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©Copyright. October 2015. Linda Leier Thomason
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