growing right along

Fred giving Noah a bath

Fred giving Noah a bath

I recently found out that I am going to be a grandmother. The happiness that I felt when my son and daughter-in-law told me, was not unexpected. I was (and am) thrilled at the thought of having a grandchild, and being a part of his or her life. What did surprise me though (as I’ve thought about this over the past month and a half) is how un-opinionated I am about things like names, what they will feed the baby, and the choices that they will make regarding day-care, education, recreation, etc.

Everyone who has known me for very long, also knows that I’ve had  pretty strong opinions about many things. And yet, as I watch myself lately, I can see the edges blur on these hard and fast ideas. I’ve begun to experience myself more as a being traveling through this earth-plane experience in order to wake up, lighten up, and grow in wisdom. I don’t take my body so seriously, am not so concerned about what I eat, how I exercise (or not), what I accomplish in terms of “success” in the world. The outer life doesn’t hypnotize me into believing that it is SO important, like it used to.

What I’ve felt about this baby, this perfect spiritual being that is coming into this world of form, is that he or she is coming for a reason, that Tom and Lindsay are the perfect parents (although of course not “perfect” in the sense of never making mistakes) for him or her, and the choices that they make for their baby, will be a part of the perfect plan. These thoughts have been the ones that have surprised me.

If you had asked me even 5 years ago what it would be like to be a grandmother, my biggest concern would’ve been that I would be biting my lip most of the time to keep my opinions to myself, and not become over-bearing. That fear would have been the result of thinking that I knew better, knew more than they did, and more than the Divine Design (for each being’s life) does.

I don’t believe that anymore.

Each life is an adventure in discovery. No person can plan a perfect life for another. We cannot protect anyone from having ups and downs, failures, hard times, deep and painful questioning of life. No amount of organic food, fresh air, exercise, opportunity, education, or attention, can give any being a pain-free and happy life. I know that Tom and Lindsay will do everything possible to give this baby a wonderful home and he or she will still have the adventure of a lifetime, which will include some joy-filled and harrowing times for everyone.

I’m glad to be going along for the ride. I’m glad not to be in the driver’s seat, or to be a back-seat driver, chirping out commands and directions at every turn. I’m glad that I don’t even want to do this.  I’m not sure what my role will be, not quite sure how I will fit into the picture of this person’s life, but I am ready to be led….and this is perfect.

“The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.” Elbert Hubbard


23 thoughts on “growing right along

  1. How happy I am for you and of course for Tom and Lindsay (and all of your family). The insights you have expressed today lead me (and I’m sure others who read your posts) to wish I had had this type of wisdom at the beginning of becoming and being a grandparent. I know that this new adventure of yours will add another layer to your blog. And even if our grandchildren are older and we feel we could have done a better job – we did the best we could with the information and tools we had at the time. No time like the present to begin anew and do some forgiveness of ourselves. For me it will be a time to clean out some old guilt and shame and also a time to look at what I did do in a very good way.

    Mazel Tov! May blessings abound for you and your family.

  2. Congratulations to you and to all of Tom and Lindsay’s family on this most wonderful miracle of life! “Blessed are mothers who teach their children to dream”. (unknown) “You shall see wonders.” – Wm. Shakespeare

  3. Congratulations Mary and Jack ! My young grand kids are unconditional love in action. Instead of ” growing” them I get to watch them grow , it is a gift and honor. So happy for all of you .

  4. Congratulations Mary and Jack…it is an honor and a delight to be grandparents and so different from the parent role… said the operative words…”I am ready to be led”….which you will be….by your precious new family member. You get to act silly and have fun all over again. xx

  5. I agree…it is amazing … i just sit back and watch the beauty that is my daughter & son-in-law raising William…they are naturals…the doctor gets a lot of calls but I love that my daughter feels free to do that!!! He’s two and massively loved and I keep my two cents out unless asked…perfect combo 🙂

  6. Congratulations. Being a grandparent myself, I empathize with much you wrote. When one of my friends became a grandparent for the first time, she told us about her “grandgirl”. Several years later, she now has a “grandboy”, too. I don’t know how unique these terms are, but I had not heard them before but think they are grand …
    Best wishes to all of you, Christa

  7. I’ve been thinking along these lines, myself, even though I’m not a grandmother yet. I also have a huge burden of “advice” for my daughter and her husband, should a baby be in the picture. But I remember all the advice my mother gave me and how, even though it was excellent, I only saw her disapproval and criticism of the way I was doing things. This is a lovely way to approach the role of grandmother, and one I would like to live up to.

    Also, when my husband and I went to visit his mother last week I tried thinking about her in a different way, not as crabby and critical but as an expression of the divine. I looked for the positive. Although we have had a difficult relationship for years, this visit was very different. We actually ended up enjoying each other and we talked more than we had in the last thirty years. It was wonderful and when we left, the hugs were genuine.

    One more thing – thank you so much for the quotes from Emmet Fox. I have been practicing his “Golden Key” method and whether or not it actually works, I am feeling much better about myself and about life.

    Your words are much appreciated.


  8. Congratulations to you Mary & your family ! The most wonderful time in all of your lives is coming. Just wait until that newborn looks right into your eyes (and soul), you will know in your heart that you have bonded for life.

    Smile, relax and enjoy, I agree with Cynthia, there is nothing more wonderful !

  9. I never thought I would be swept away by love with a baby that was not my own until I met and fell hopelessly in love with my grand baby Violet. There was plenty of magic and wonder my own children, but this is different. Maybe because my sense of responsibility is not immediate. I’m on call, but not in charge. To hold her and smell her and now to coax smiles and coos….just so sweet. Prepare for your heart to be blown wide open, again. Congratulations to all.

  10. Congratulations Mary! And hooray for feeling more mellow, less worried about all the what ifs, and how to’s, and the should have, could haves, etc.! I am finding that I feel somewhat more of an observer now as I enter my 7th decade at 62 years of age. I like it. I don’t mind letting go of the reins at all. I, too am expecting a little grandson, in February, so the excitement is mounting. I am so very happy for his big brother who is soon to turn eleven. My son has been Daddy to this dear child for almost three years now, and soon they will be four! Reading the comments above, I’m sure to fall hopelessly in love with the little guy. Happy New Year 2014 to all!

    • Congratulations, Susan! Nothing like a baby in the family to remind one of life renewing itself every minute. Enjoy the baby years. You already know how fast they move!

  11. Congratulations and many blessings to you and Jack, Mary, and to Tom and Lindsay! My grands are now 19 and 22, and it has been a wonderful ride, getting them to their adult years. You are just starting your ‘grandmom’ journey and an unparalleled journey it is, in that you get to have all the fun and leave all the raising to the parents.

    I wish you years of love and sweet baby kisses….treasures, every one.

  12. Oh Mary, what wonderful news! We are so very happy for you as you get to experience this new journey. I am liking your attitude and observations about yourself ~ we should all take note!
    Happy New Year. to you and Jack ❤️❤️❤️

  13. Congratulations Mary! A whole new chapter of your life is beginning! I was doubtful about the whole concept of being a Gramma when I got the news 16 yrs. ago. I let this unfold and what a sweet and fast ride it’s been! My grandson Jake is 16 and Granddaughter Grace is 14!!! I can’t believe how fast the years have flown by. Enjoy every minute Mary and Jack!!!
    Love, Cindy

  14. How wonderful, Mary!! Great news to end the year and begin the new. As excited as I am for you and your family, I must say I still delight in the pictures of your cats. They are so expressive and just make me smile!!

  15. Congratulations to Tom & Lindsay and to you, Mary, for such honestly insightful feelings shared in this posting. Some of my friends are very hands-on Grandmas and live close proximity to grandchildren, I am not in that position and I do envy them being so present in their lives and yet, I am surprised at how, after being such a hands-on mother I was to my own children, I am not so with my grandchildren. I have two step-grandsons that amuse me constantly and the one, I’m glad I’m not parenting…he’s driving his mother and my son, crazy at times…and yet, he has moments when I can see there is hope for a more normal person in there instead of the person at 17 who has devices hanging from his ears and tatoos on his arm. The Good Lord gives children to younger people for a reason…I enjoyed raising my family but I’m glad I don’t have to go through it all over again. You and Jack will have something to look forward to in this coming new year. SandyP in Southern Ontario, Canada where we are still locked in with ice and snow.

  16. Sweet! I love your attitude, Mary. I am about to become a great-grandmother sometime around Spring Equinox, at the ripe age of 62 – so I really appreciated your shared reflections. As usual, your words were full of wisdom and peace. Blessings to you & your growing family!

  17. Congratulations to you Mary and the expectant parents. I love your outlook of contented onlooker. It seems “perfect”!

  18. Mary, this is wonderful news, something you have been wanting to hear! I became a grandmother in November (number 6) and it is amazing how much love you can feel for a grandchild, it is immediate love. You will be an awesome Grandma!

  19. Congratulations, Mary! And Happy New Year wishes from the Big Cypress Seminole Indian reservation in the FL Everglades! We are here camping before we move on to Louisiana for a month and then Texas Hill Country for another month. We are so fortunate to be able to have a motorhome lifestyle and see as much of this wonderful country as we can. My only suggestion for your grandchild is NEVER put limits on yourself….there is much beyond each horizon to explore and enjoy.
    Best to all.
    Ken, Pam & Ali

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