12/14/2015

Love is as Bright as the North Star

One of the most precious questions I hear these days when I spend time with my granddaughter are the ones she asks me about my son, her daddy.  They are filled with so much wonder over the fact her grandma is the mommy of her daddy and her daddy was once a little boy! She has just a hard time picturing the big strong protector over her and her momma and her little brothers was once a little guy himself in need of protection.

The funny questions that arise over his baby years just make her giggle to no end! What did he eat, vegetables, French fries, etc.  I hope God forgives me when I get there because I sometimes tell little white lies hoping some of the good habits I say he had over some things he wouldn’t touch will rub off on her. I did do what psychologists say you perhaps shouldn’t do, try to make him eat them. Forcing a child to eat something by making them sit there at the table is a fruitless effort indeed. I found I suffered not him. He found ways to amuse himself! I counted down the minutes, not him, so gave that idea up quickly!

She always wants to know how her daddy did in school Fortunately for me, and him, he was excellent.  He had to work hard at it, at times, but other times, it
came so easily.  I feel badly sometimes over these questions. Though she is quite good in school, she has a tendency to put herself down telling me it is hard for her and she isn't very good. I know from her mother this is not quite true. 

When she tells me she wishes she was as smart as her daddy and would not has as much trouble in school as he did, it is like a punch in the heart to me. I just encourage her and naturally, run to my cell, texting her dad!  See, even grandmas embrace technology.  I still find myself wanting to protect every aching heart-ache she has, nomatter how small.  I know full well this is impossible to do, perhaps that is why older folks are allowed to bear children anymore! She is like her dad in that she is, by nature, a perfectionist, a bright student but good is never quite good enough for her!

Her mother is called her momma, as she has been born and raised in the south,  a true southern belle. Momma has already forewarned me, any question on behavior issues, be cautious on responses! LOL! These are not to be thrown back in their faces, e.g. daddy wasn’t always good or daddy didn't listen to his mommy and clean up his room!  However, daddy was usually good except possibly that last example. But honestly, what boy is a clean freak? My granddaughter is such a silly girl, she doesn’t believe me on the daddy did no wrong anyways!  She says her daddy is way too funny to have always been good. No way!  She says she thinks he had to have made me mad. Heck, he makes her mad and momma!  


She is very much into princesses and Disney that she wants to know all about f her parents love story.  Did her parents kiss as kissing, at her age, is a big deal!  What did I think when he met his princess, her momma?  Did he think she was beautiful?  She watches my face very closely as this is about her mother, her role model.  I speak very slowly because I think this is so critical to her development even though it seems like childish questions.  It is not really, underneath she is formulating her ideas of marriage, family and the love between her parents. I want  her to hear from me nothing but the same messages she hears at home, love is unconditional in her family.  She also needs to know, in grandma's opinion,  her momma took her time picking a man that was going to treat her well and take good care of her. And that her daddy fell in love with her momma for lots of reasons not just because she was beautiful. 

I think it is adorable that she understands how much I love her daddy and cares about who he fell in love with, even at her age. She asked if he asked me before he married her. I told her he was no longer a boy but a man and did not need to ask a mommy to make decisions. He followed his heart just like her momma did when she said yes.  Her face lights up!  It is not like a Disney story I have told her because family's argue, kids get in trouble and learn and parents disagree and then work out their problems. I know she sees households are work.  Her house has lots of activities going on, dealing with autism, three kids on different school schedules, a daddy running two dental practices and a momma trying to put all their lives in order!  

I find, for an 8 year old, her questions very deep and thought-provoking on her part.  It also shows her putting the pieces together of life and her future.
 All these lessons are learned in the family but getting a reaffirmation in your extended family is so reassuring to a child.  We all benefit from support systems. She is blessed to have parents that care about developing that. 

Parents sometimes can get so caught up in life that all the sudden kids can be around the wrong kind of people until red flags go off and  some damage is done. I am so blessed my grandchildren are in a home where all their questions and lives are monitored carefully.  They are put in places where their questions are asked of the right kinds of people.   If I am not sure how to answer,  I pass on the question and turn it back to her parents, as everyone should! To me, this is not passing the buck, this is allowing the parents to do what they are given the chance to do, and they do it so well with her!

She wonders and asks me a lot how much I miss her when she is not with me and with my son.  This is a cute endearing habit she has picked up for late.  She slips into asking questions about her daddy calling him 'your son" smiling and somehow still finding it funny! I tell her to me it is and was part of my life.  
  I did the things her momma does for her and her brothers, held him when he was sad, took him to school, cared for him when he was sick,put him to bed each night telling him I loved him.  I remind her love is not about being with someone, it is about caring about someone when you are with them and not with them. God loves us always and we don’t even see Him but He always loves us. Not being near a Grandma, cousin, aunt or uncle doesn’t mean that they aren’t loving and missing you. She seems to get a real sense of this I think from attending church and again, discussion with her parents from relatives outside of town.  


I would have to say one of my favorite questions of all is asking me if it was hard to "give up your son to me and to mommy?"  She gets her serious look like she feels badly for me. Actually this time of year, it drives home the point of Christmas. Do we ever truly  understand the pain God felt seeing his son Jesus endure the agony  everyone reject Him for doing nothing but bringing goodwill to men? Trying to bring eternal salvation is astounding and then, to in response His son was met  with screams of crucify Him.  This is unimaginable to moms everywhere.  How appropriate that on Good Friday most churches have us, kneel in forgiveness when re-enacting that scene for that horrendous sin. And here we are in December, far before that wicked day,  getting ready to celebrate the birthday of the most sacred of all births. Jesus, son of God. 

And then, back to my granddaughter’s question, I raised my son to move forward and bring a token, in comparison to Jesus, to new family he would establish and
lead. He was ordained, in my eyes, to be the head of a new household, a new family, create a new legacy.  And he has, in my mind, better than the old one I tried to create. 

I try hard to help a little girl understand my joy, not pain.  Trying to capture this in the context of an eight year old that I have not lost something but done what God expected me to do. I look at my flaws and realize there are things I could have done better, forgiveness I have asked for those defects of character of both God and my children and blessings I bestowed on them as well. But in my granddaughter's eyes, I do no wrong. Perhaps that is part of the joy of grand-parenting.  

My happiness over my son’s success and her happiness and pride in her daddy and family make the mission complete. I think she somehow understands this in a small way. I know, one day, she will completely see the circle of life. She certainly understands that without her daddy moving on, falling in love with her mommy and having her, there would be no us, no grandma and granddaughter to bond together.  


And so at Christmas, as families gather around the tree, may little girls everywhere remember that the love they share for those around  their tree, is one of the most beautiful lights in the universe.  Just as Jesus brought people together on His time on earth to spread God’s love and light, they are meant to do the same with their time on earth with their families.  May you all shine the light of Christmas in your homes and beyond like the star of my granddaughter and how her daddy still shines bright all these years to me!