Almost a year ago, Larry and I began providing “daycare” for our new grandson. We moved 4 1/2 hours away, rented an apartment, and started what has become one of the most meaningful and emotional years of our lives.
I’ve always known that if I was ever lucky enough to have a grandchild that I would fall head over heels in love with him. What I didn’t know was how deep that connection would actually become and how many other incredible blessings would develop over the course of the year spent taking care of him.
We’ve been blessed with a front-row seat to all of Jase’s firsts…everything from first baby coos to first tentative steps. We’ve shared in all of his big milestones. Also, (and even more special), we’ve been touched by his first baby kisses, his gentle snuggles, and all of the quiet fleeting moments of dawning awareness seen through his precious big brown eyes. We’ve watched the wonder of his discovery in everyday simple things that as adults we take for granted. We’ve learned every nuance of his very big personality and his very small body. He has become, very simply put, a huge chunk of my being.
This journey also produced many additional and unexpected blessings. We’ve been able to develop new and closer relationships with our daughter and son-in-law.
I’ve always felt that Bear was more than just a son-in-law, but this year has provided a deeper insight into his caring, giving nature. We’ve shared so much–from cooking tips to serious medical scares. I’ve seen his loving care, not only for Jase, but for Lauren as she went through a very tough and scary time. I witnessed his rock-solid commitment and I am so comforted to know that my daughter and my grandson are in such good, loving hands. What a blessing to have seen that first-hand.
I have also been privy to my daughter’s journey into becoming an incredible mother to Jase. I’ve gotten to watch her very tender, very purposeful nurturing of her son. I’ve seen her selfless love for him in countless ways, even through times of intensely scary personal struggles. I am incredibly proud of her and so thankful for the chance to see her loving maternal ways. I didn’t think I could love her any more than I already did, but this year has proven me wrong.
Lastly, this year has made me fall in love all over again with my huge-hearted husband. I’ve watched his gentle and very tender care of Jase. I’ve seen his loving patience and his overwhelming joy and wonder at Jase’s development. I’ve seen his vulnerability in his concern for our daughter. And I’ve seen his determination in giving Jase the very best of himself. It touches me to see his very deep, very emotional connection to our grandson, and I love that he is unafraid to show it.
Our time here caring for Jase on a daily basis will end in a few days. I will be forever changed by this experience, and forever grateful for this time we’ve had and for the many blessings we have received. We will return home to Arlington with tears in our eyes, but with very full hearts.
It’s been a wonderous year.