“I looked at the pictures from the hospital. She’s changed so much!”
That was my 25-year-old daughter talking about her two-month-old baby girl. Let that soak in for a moment. I smiled and told her, “I can imagine. I was looking through your baby photos recently and you’ve changed a bit as well.” She will be 26 this August. What?! Wasn’t she just a toddler yesterday?!
It still feels weird to talk about my “granddaughter”. I started the motherhood gig in August of 1991. After an unexpected c-section, the doctor handed my husband a beautiful baby girl. On May 5, 2017, that “baby girl” handed me another beautiful baby girl – named Henry Onalee – and I gained the title of Grandmother. Nana? Oma? Grandma? Who knows what the little one will call me. For now, I’ve adopted the nickname “peachie pie” for her. Not sure why but it seems to be my “go-to”.
Having kids changed my perspective on . . . well, . . . EVERYTHING. Love meant something different. I was surprised at how fiercely protective I could be. And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would lay down my life to protect my children. I thought nothing would ever be as intense.
Then Henry was born.
I have adored that little girl from the moment I held her. She was just minutes old. Once again, my perspective on the world shifted. I fell in love with her instantly. And I added one more name to the list of children I would give my life to keep safe.
But cuddling her, feeding her, singing to her . . . those aren’t the only moments that make my heart feel so full it might burst.
My baby is now a mama. As strange as that reality is, watching her love on her little girl takes my breath away.
I have come to admire my daughter as a woman. Yes, I will always love her as “my baby”. But she has built a great reputation at work, manages her finances really well, takes care of her home, and lets her creative side out to play on a regular basis. She knows what she believes and what she values and she lives her life accordingly. Truthfully, there are times I breathe a prayer of gratitude that she is “adulting” much better than I did when I was her age.
And I love watching how she loves her little girl. I’m not gonna lie – I am humbled and grateful that she texts and calls for advice. I love “selfies” of the two of them that she sends me if I haven’t seen them in a couple of days. Mostly, I love watching her love her daughter. “I love her so much” is said often in my presence so I imagine she says it when I’m not around as well.
My baby has a baby of her own to love. And I am more grateful than I can say that she has invited me into their world so I can watch the journey up close.