I became a grandfather yesterday, a baby boy born to my son and his partner.
I was present for the birth of both my children, and can vividly remember the high emotions and excitement I felt, the anticipation of meeting my child for the first time, in the flesh. Yet, nothing could have prepared me for the moment I saw them for the first time. Both times, I was overwhelmed with so much joy, I never knew where it was coming from? Where has this extra love been hidden all this time?
Before my children were born, I thought I had experienced real love. When it comes to understanding love, I’ve been blessed with a head start. My parents loved me from the get-go. And all I have ever experienced, is their unending and unconditional love for me. Experiencing a love like this, without a blip of inconsistency in my lifetime, you would think I would be prepared for what was coming? But no.
Nothing could ever have prepared me for that feeling of undying love for my child.
The values my parents tried to teach me, to be kind, and to be generous with love, I have tried to live by and to teach my children to do the same. Over the years, as my children have grown up, I have been concerned with the job I’m doing as a parent. I know I have failed many times. I would also have to be responsible enough to admit the effect that has had on my children. And I am.
However, I needn’t have been too concerned.
Last night, while the future first-time grandparents were all waiting anxiously in the hospital, my son burst through the door, still in full surgery garb, wearing a grin like I have never seen before, pride beaming from his shining eyes. He looked like a superhero that had swept into the room! He announced his son’s arrival to us with a booming, “Heyyyy! I’m a dad!” I was overcome with joy at seeing his joy. And suddenly, it all came back to me. That moment when I felt more love than I knew I had, that feeling I felt when my children were born.
A little while later, they brought our new mommy back from surgery. She was beaming like I have never seen her before! If my son arrived like a superhero, her entrance was a picture of grace and calmness. On hearing her recollection of her baby boy’s arrival and her overwhelming joy on seeing him, you could tell she was completely smitten.
I was allowed to see my grandson for a short while. Standing next to my son, my arm around his shoulder, looking down at that little baby sleeping, I felt that same feeling again. I was so overcome with joy on feeling it again, I cried. I could not have been prepared for this either.
Nothing can prepare you for when your heart finds extra love, especially when you thought you knew what maxed out felt like!
My grandson ushers in a new generation that we will be responsible for. I know my son and his partner will go on to teach him about being kind and generous. I hope he will go on to teach his children how to be generous with love, and that he too will experience the joyous feeling of finding extra love.