This post brought to you by New York Life. All opinions are 100% mine.
Tears are a funny thing.
They fill the gap between the language we speak everyday, and the place our voice goes when it’s so overwhelmed, there are no adequate ways to utter thoughts.
This is how I felt as the plane thrusted down the runway, on our way to Boston. Faster, faster, the big cluster of monster sized metal, surged – and then it was light, floating high above the clouds, and miniature cities below.
Flying has always baffled me. No matter how many times I hear the explanation behind the “lift off” of this massive, man made machine, that carries people across the world – I can’t fathom it. It is a miracle, and so was the fact that I was sitting next to my husband on the way to meet our grand baby.
My mouth was happily shut and my tears openly fell. The nice man in charge of serving us, offered me food, a drink and a wet towel to wash my hands. All I could do was smile and nod. I was grateful. My mind raced with the overwhelming speed of time, and I wondered how it would feel to snuggle Emma and smell that fresh from heaven, tiny baby.
She was the embodiment of everything my husband and I had worked for. From the time I met him, at the young age of 18, he was dad. Only a teenager himself, he was doing the best job he could. We started dating, and eventually we set out to build our relationship. It wasn’t easy. It never is, when you have two sets of family, trying to raise a child.
The days were slow and the years fast, and we made our way though the stubborn toddler phase. At least she loved feeding those hungry ducks, because it made a lot of hard times better. Pretty soon she was a big sister; an example to lots of other siblings, in both of her families. She was a natural leader, and they loved to follow. We were all proud, and cringed as she grew into a beautiful young lady – because the boys started coming around. Why wouldn’t they? She was strong and played as hard as any boy, and looked like a blonde bombshell that just walked out of a magazine.
Soon, she became a defiant teenager and threatened her love, like lots of us do – and we dealt with it, the best we knew how. We always loved her, but didn’t always know what to do with her. She was a little human, with thoughts and plans of her own, and was determined to do it her way. What teenager isn’t?
I pulled out my pillow and blanket from the plastic wrapping and leaned over against the window. I put on my favorite headphones, and tried to quiet my racing mind. The calming melodies of Cold Play filled my senses and gave my emotions a place to travel, where nobody else could see.
This new grand baby would be the beginning of my journey as a grandmother. A term that I never expected to use at such a young age, so I had shortened my title to Gigi. That’s just what happens when you meet your spouse right when you arrive at college, and find that he’s already a dad of an eleven month old. I reflected on our other children that we added to the bunch since then, five other daughters, and one adopted son – active and “boy” enough to even out all the girls combined.
Soon, they would all have small families of their own. Soon I would be holding their babies for the first time and giggle under my breath, when they talked back and were ignored. And soon, they would question themselves everyday, as they made decisions for their family, just like I have.
After the long flight landed in Boston, we grabbed our luggage and walked out to the busy curb. And there they were, waiting for us to arrive. After hugs and greetings, we jumped into the car, and I stared at her for the first time. Because so many people had invested in raising her, many great things would pass down to the next generation. It truly takes a village to raise a child.
Laughter, hard work, passion, beauty and love, would be in her home. My husband looked at me and said, “You’ve been a great mom, and now you’re a darling Grandma too.” And he was right. I did the best job I knew how, and I had finally realized that I was the best mother for my children – because I was their mother. I gave them everything that I had, everyday. Sometimes that was enough, and other times I lacked, but that’s okay.
My daughters will know that I believed in them and encouraged them to follow their dreams. They’ll know that it’s important to keep a good sense of humor and to be patient with each other. More than anything, I pray that they know of my love for them, and that they are the reason I wake up and do my best each day.
What lessons have YOU learned that you’d like to pass on to your daughters? We’d love for you to blog about it and link back to us, or just comment after this post!