You know those women who find themselves in an empty nest and all they can think of is adding grandchildren to said nest?
I wasn’t one of them.
Twenty years ago, I was the mother of three young adult sons, all unmarried. It was fine with me if the boys hadn’t found their wives yet. I was enjoying my husband’s attention, translated: no competition with baseball games, swim meets, and waiting for a kid to come home past curfew—and yeah, the other stuff you might be thinking about…
I had little desire to be a grandmother.
Five years later and in the span of thirteen months, all three boys were married. One couple started a family almost immediately. While eager to meet my granddaughter, the idea that she existed was still a foreign concept.
Me? A grandma? Apparently.
A couple of weeks after her birth, I traveled across two states to meet the brand new little stranger.
I fell in love.
That first year of her life consisted of five-hour drives every two months so I would miss as little as possible.Unfortunately, she was “Mommy’s girl” only. She cried every time I held her. Those tears didn’t stop me from reaching out.
She had just celebrated her first birthday when I decided I would ignore her upon my arrival. I hugged the parents, sat on the floor and played with her toys.
She couldn’t resist. Soon, two tiny feet appeared in my range of vision. She picked up a giant Lego block and showed me how to place it on top of another block.
Thus began my real grandmother journey. I learned to connect with seven more personalities. As they grow, I love the variety of connections we’ve made.
Five grandchildren are animal-lovers. I am an animal-lover. CONNECTION!
The teenager has a wry sense of humor as he comments on the politics of the day. I appreciate that. CONNECTION!
One child loves to read. So do I. CONNECTION!
One reflects on the deep things of life—and she’s too young to realize that’s what she’s doing! But I love to meditate on such things, too. CONNECTION!
One enjoys observing his world and making matter-of-fact comments on what he sees. Me, too. CONNECTION!
One has such a generous heart that she constantly creates or buys gifts for others, including me. Giving may not be my spiritual gift, but I am blessed in the receiving of her gifts. CONNECTION!
The last time the four-year-old and I were together in her home, we played with magnetic doll clothes, and she pretended they were people. The clothes, not the dolls. I immediately understood what she was doing. You see, I used to create people out of toys, too. In my case, bobby pins worked best! CONNECTION!
Doesn’t God do the same with us?
He longs to connect with each of His children. Not all of them long to connect with Him, so He uses creative ways to draw their attention, to grab their interest, until they find themselves enjoying His presence.
I am so grateful He found a way to connect with me. My life would not contain the joy and contentment I know today if He hadn’t reached out for precious connection.
God teaches and encourages me, helping me reach for eternity. He is glorified when I imitate Him, so I will continue to share my life with my grandchildren, teaching them as I have opportunity, encouraging them with my love, and making beautiful connections across the generations.
More thoughts on across the generations here.