Kids Bring Out Our Best
A gander honked me off a running path in Raleigh as to make way for ‘mother’ goose and five goslings. Marvel overtook my startled sidestepping; little ones bring out our best, a truth not lost on me as I ran back to son Nick and wife Meg whose lives will never be the same since the birth of Anna 2-months-ago.
Strange how such a little life can decentralize the powerfully focused lives of its parents—in a few weeks, Anna has become the heartbeat of that home. A 10-pound-queen, her subjects scramble at every royal squeal. Tiny, every part: fingers, mouth, tongue, occasional smile. Blessed the one who incurs it! Anna’s exquisite face is dominated by jet-black eyes that convey utter dependence with each gaze.
Captivating. Parenthood brings out the best in Nick and Meg, a softness and centeredness in Meg and for Nick who can’t be quite defined as domestic, a generous presence for both mother and child, servant leadership, so to speak. Their marital love overflows to another life, who enhances something essential in their woman and manhood. Kids just do that! They transform us without asking.
Annette related to Anna from the deepest, most real place in her. I’ve witnessed her gift in relation to all the grandkids. Annette is perfectly content to hold a child’s small frame and gaze while cooing or singing softly for indefinite time periods. I am edgy with child after 10 minutes. Annette delights in the most basic of games or chats or dumb shows (Blippy? Really?) or cooking lessons (Yes, really. They make donuts and fruit pies together.) And she disciplines, quietly discerning between a child’s need and his or her need to hear ‘no’ then holding her ground patiently until the kid ‘gets’ it. She is an intuitive marvel!
I am game to throw my grandkids up in the air a few times, to chase them around the yard, to share with them the meaning of my crucifix or the garden statues of Mary and Francis (these kids are fiercely religious, nearly immaculate). Honestly, I exist to ensure Annette doesn’t strain her back carrying kids up and down staircases clogged by two labs who bounce into everything.
We’ve had our grandkids for at least 3 days full-time for the last 5 years. We’ve loved every minute of it. They exhaust us and every corner of our house. Kids make us better.