The beauty of love never gets old. This past Saturday, it walked like a boss with my stunning grandgirl, straight down a grassy aisle to tie the knot with her sweetheart. It shined in the eyes of my first born daughter who now stood as mother of the bride. And it filled the soul of this grandma as I watched my only granddaughter get married.
Love is love. But it gets even more unconditional, bountiful and expansive when you become a grandparent. The ties that bind two people in marriage also tie generations together. This weekend I celebrated this young woman who made me a (very young) first time grandma as she entered into another family circle — her own. Yet, the circle is wide, and peopled with ancestors none of us have ever met. And in the circle, the faces, the personalities of our children will one day exist in grandchildren of theirs.
“Grandchildren connect the dots from one generation to another.”
A sparkling pair of my favorite earrings danced in the light as her wedding ‘borrowed; an intricate lace gown vintage new. ‘Something blue’ was the ‘missing’ felt by both bride and groom of their cherished grandparents, loved and lost. Somehow, I just knew, though, that amidst the ‘eat, drink and be merry’, the grandpa who taught her to drive and shared her love of Broadway was hangin’ out, wishing he could sneak some cake.
As vows were spoken, I couldn’t help but think of my own wedding day. It was hard not to remember the moment sharing promises to love each other for ‘better or worse; richer or poorer’. Unlike the shining young couple on this wedding day, we had an idea that the sickness and health part would become a big part of our marriage. But, as my new grandson-in-law and grandgirl stood beaming in the afternoon sun, I knew they have years of discovery, youth and bloom ahead. They have already weathered assorted storms in their 8 years together, so I’m pretty sure they will continue to have and hold whatever is behind door number 2.
I don’t spoil my grandkids. I’m just very accommodating.
When our own kids were little, immersed in spit ups and endlessly sleepless nights, it was easy to think they’d be be babies forever. Nope. Days that once seemed long now fly by in a blink. One day they’re potty training and the next having babies of their own. Maybe that’s why grandparents hang on to every toothless smile, every hug and ‘I yuv you’ because we know well how fleeting life is. This weekend, I watched the little girl I took to ballet and drama lessons, become a wife. This comical munchkin, who helped trim my tree with feather boas around both our necks loudly singing Bette Midler — pronounced wedding vows. Cue the ahhhhhhh’s.
“They gave each other a smile – with a future in it.” Ring Lardner
These days I try not to leave anything important unsaid, especially to those I love. If you asked my kids and grandkidlets how often I load them up with newspaper articles, cautionary tales, reminders for doc appointments, you’d get major eye rolls. But I hope my insistence on always telling them how much I love and am proud of them make up for it. As these radiant newlywed faces brought tears to my eyes, I thought of so much I wanted to tell them. But those thoughts can wait. Watching these two precious young adults promise to love each other to the moon and back, I’m just only too grateful to be on their spaceship.
Starting a brand new life as one, these two cool young ‘uns have the world ahead of them. Their sphere of life may be filled, as they have both already experienced, with joy and disappointment, regret and satisfaction, and both pain and great happiness. But the real magic sauce is love and that ingredient has been baked into their relationship, just as it was in my life with my own husband. Perfect or not so much, love has driven every feeling and almost every decision I ever made, even when it went erratically south. When my time here is done, the one thing I’ll never be accused of is not loving enough – or telling those I love how I feel about them. Whew.
Grandparents are easy. Even the smallest child can operate them.
Grandparents come in all shapes and sizes, cultures and quirks. But, we have one thing in common – crazy, wild love for tiny humans we’re now related to. I think it comes with the grandparent card. I want my number one grandchild, like the other 5 sweetpeas I adore, to know that even when I’m no longer here — I will never leave them. I want this new bride to know how proud I am of the kickass woman she’s become, complete with a huge heart, awesome talent and funky sense of humor. I want her to treasure each moment because nothing is a given. I want to remind her that as much as she’s lifted up in love by a husband who adores her, to always lift him up as well. And on those days when he does something to really tick her off, to try to remember why she fell in love with that guy in the first place.
Grandchildren fill a space in your heart you didn’t know was empty.
I may be a teeny bit biased but on this priceless wedding day, and every other day ahead, I want her to remember how blessed I am to be her grandma. So, from this day forward, my beautiful granddaughter, the real adventure begins. Here’s to a badass, glorious ride!