Here’s to you my sweet, “almost” one-year old granddaughter! This year, you made me a grandmother for the very first time and became one of my greatest teachers.
You taught me that we can’t control everything in the world when you made your entrance six weeks early. Despite all the lists, planning, and timelines I make, you taught me that there’s beauty and joy even in the unexpected.
Your sheer determination taught me to never give up. When I watched your tiny little body show your new parents and the medical team just who they were dealing with, an already strong little lady with a voice of her own, you inspired me. You made me remember how much strength we have as girls and women.
You taught me patience. Watching you try and try again to roll from your tummy to your back until you got it and then having everyone cheering as if you had won a gold medal at the baby Olympics was magical!
I had forgotten what it was like to take the time to do something hard and scary and then to rejoice in the accomplishment.
When you laughed out loud for the first time it reminded me how sweet that sound is and to never take that song of joy for granted. It taught me to laugh often and from deep in my belly! The kind of laughing that makes your whole body join in.
Your sense of wonder has brought me back to looking at the world through the eyes of a child. It is a gift that parents cherish but even they might miss those moments that are often holding hands with busyness.
But, as your “Nana” I easily remember these extraordinary glimpses into seeing the world for the first time. Observing the tiniest things from your perspective is a gift that I will always make time to soak in.
You Have Taught Me
You have taught me to slow down. It has been decades since I have done that and even though my career and my life run at a rapid pace, you have insisted I stop.
I paused to watch you taste a blueberry for the first time. You were like an explorer, examining every one of your senses until your smile was bright blue.
You stopped in your tracks and popped a thumb in your mouth, laid your head down and just gazed at the leaves moving in the trees with complete contentment.
You’re far better than any yoga or meditation class I have ever had. You have gently pulled me back to the present moment so many times that I am now once again familiar with that safe and quiet place.
But more than anything, sweet girl, you have taught me what real joy is. The world has been filled with events that could have made us question happiness this year. But, despite it, your first year wrapped up little pieces of joy and delivered it to me every time I saw your smile.
I watched you turn a page in a book for the first time. Watched you look up at the sky with the wind blowing through your hair … and then you smiled for a full minute at a butterfly. During these difficult times, these small moments reminded me that the beautiful part of our world will find its way back to us.
Your first year has been filled with all kinds of unexpected things. Things we could have never imagined. But the thing I did imagine was falling so quickly and deeply in love with you. Thank you for reminding through the ups and downs of this strange year, that love is our teacher – every time.
Happy Birthday, ladybug.
Written by Pam Lang