It still surprises me that I don’t always react as I would have expected. After 6 children and over 40 years of marriage, my wife and I heard the news that (finally) we are going to be grandparents. We have always told our children that whether they have children or not is their decision and our thoughts should not come into the equation. These decisions are between them and God.
Then we heard over the weekend that we are going to be grandparents. I have to admit it was a thrill to hear the news. The level of thrill surprised me. I can’t even tell you why I am so excited. But I am. I am chuffed!
I suppose some of the reasons are that I believe my daughter and son-in-law will make wonderful, dutiful and loving parents, and the grandmothers, in particular, will make the most overwhelming duo a grandchild will ever meet! Other grandparents tell me that the best thing about being a grandparent is that at the end of any given day you just hand the child back. The sleepless nights are somebody else’s worry.
At the same time this announcement brought back many frightening memories of when I was a young clueless dad. Being a new parent was both exciting and scary. What do you do with them and how do you do it? Babies are such frail helpless creatures and I remember being a helpless lump. By the sixth I think I got over it.
However, I remember clearly the most overawing words that were spoken to us when we were expecting our first child came from our pastor. He reminded us that when a child is conceived it is conceived for an eternity and as parents we must do all we can to ensure that it is an eternity in the presence of God.
And I suppose that is the other reason for the thrill. When a child is conceived it is a another creation reflecting the image of God – which it will do perfectly, in Christ.