Rain. Sleet. Fog. Snow. Blue skies. Darkness falling.
It was all present on my drive home from Vancouver to Calgary on Wednesday. I had planned to drive through on Tuesday but a snowstorm derailed my plans and I got to spend an extra day with my grandchildren, daughter and son-in-love.
I thought about staying until the weekend but the forecast was for more snow later in the week and into the weekend. Best to ‘carpe diem’ and slip through between the storm past and the storm forecast.
I left early – my goal, to reach home before darkness fell.
I just made it.
My heart is full. My heart arches with longing to once again hold these precious little one’s in my arms. To laugh with them. To read stories and make them up too! To sing silly songs and watch Blippi, my grandson’s favourite TV show, so that I can hear his laughter and watch him do his ‘excavator dance’.
And now I’m home. Separated by the miles and miles of land between us and the snow-capped mountains that edge the horizon, their serrated ridges a reminder of my grandson’s dinosaur inspired imitations when he gets out of the bath. Wrapped in his blue towel with the stuffed dinosaur head, he stomps around the house shaking his body from side-to-side and waving his arms as he roars. I pretend to be scared, cover my face and cry out, “Oh No! A dinosaur! I’m so scared!” And then, he laughs and giggles and we go through it all over again. And again. And again.
I remember the moment my daughters were born. I remember that feeling of pure all-encompassing love that descended upon me and enveloped me with its abiding presence. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with love that I felt like I’d never breathe deeply again. I remember holding them and never wanting to let go.
And then I did. Let go. I had no choice. To be their parent meant creating space for them to find their wings and learn how to fly.
And then, my grandson and now my granddaughter arrived and I feel those feelings of not wanting to let go and I know those feeling of being so deeply immersed in their presence the world outside fades and I feel enveloped in Love. Consumed. Captivated. Mesmerized. Entranced. Enchanted.
The difference is, this time I get to experience it all while witnessing my daughter transform into the kind of mother every child deserves. Loving. Kind. Patient. Imaginative. Creative. Caring. Funny. Playful. Permissive without being domineering. Disciplined without being controlling.
She is soft spoken even in the face of a tired child’s tantrum. She lovingly honours each child’s individual needs, creating space for their unique personalities to shine through. Even at three months old, she respects her daughter’s expressions, responding with loving-attention no matter the time of day or night. She creates a safe and courageous container of love for their children to shine and learn and grow and flourish.
The sadness of leaving is lightened by the memories of my time spent with them all and the knowing that, in Alexis and my son-in-love, these two precious beings have been gifted parents who will love fiercely and stand steadfast in their promise to love them forever and always.
What a beautiful gift of Love. For their children. Each other. The world.
May all children in this world know they are loved. They are safe. They are precious and unique.