Being adult is so very wearing. Being responsible. Being appropriate. Being full of integrity. Being intentional. All require choices–good choices. Which requires thinking and processing and making the decision to do what is right.
As a parent, it’s often easy to forget about quiet moments when your intent is to help your children grow up well. You need to be concerned about who they play with, what activities they choose to become involved in, what they’re learning and how they’re doing in academic advancement. Then there’s the concern for moral development, where they learn to become kind and caring adults. So they can continue the process with their children.
It is wearing.
As a grandparent, however, I feel like I’ve been given the gift of a “do-over”. I have the invaluable opportunity to be with my grandkids and not be the ultimate authority. The one that has to always be the bad guy. Yes, I follow their parents’ rules, and I respect the margins they’ve been given. But as Nana, I have a little freedom to fudge. A little space to hit the pause button and just enjoy the moment.
The parents of said grandchildren are away, packing up their home that they’ve sold and driving a U-Haul to Florida, relocating to Orlando and sun. Said grandchildren have been having fun while the parents are away–they thoroughly get the looser reigns of Papa and Nana. Not such a strict limit on technology–IPads and games played with friends across the miles are quite acceptable.
All except the youngest. She’s aware her parents are gone, and at two, she’s not quite as easily distracted with fun. (Though technology definitely helps here as well. That child can navigate my cell phone better and faster than I can.) So as she took her nap the other day, she really didn’t want to be consoled. She was tired, cranky, out of sorts, inconsolable. I get that. I’m menopausal. Bottom line, she didn’t want to sleep. So I lay beside her, rubbing her tummy like a puppy, watching her relax. Her eyes closed, she played with her hair, slowly wrapping it around her fingers. Her hands moved slower and slower, and then they dropped in slow motion to her side.
I was overwhelmed by the tenderness I felt at that moment. The wonder of watching her sleep, the calm, relaxed face that is so animated when she’s awake. I remembered times when I had glimpses of this with my own children when they were little, but I didn’t remember the calm and tenderness to quite such a degree.
I yearn for that same tenderness. For someone to take the time, in this really busy world, to be with me, to calm me, to enjoy me. My husband is masterful at that, but he, too, is busy, and time doesn’t always allow for moments of sweet calm and enjoyment. I think we all yearn for that tenderness, for someone to see us and value us exactly as we are, without expectations of being better or different or more suited to their desires.
God sees me with that tenderness. He enjoys me as He sees me. I’m fully acceptable to Him as I am, for I am His. “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you…” Isaiah 66:13a. He comforts me as a mother comforts her child. Deep tenderness. Loving vigilance.
And He takes the time to do it well.