Posted: Monday, February 27, 2012 5:02:32 PM
When you are born, you will be the last of a long line of grandchildren. Your oldest cousins will be your teenaged babysitters; the grade-schoolers will be your personal entertainers. The youngest of your cousins, always a few steps ahead of you, will be eager to show you everything they’ve learned in their own short lives.
As for me, I will coddle and snuggle you as I have all the rest. But I will hold you a little closer, knowing you will be the last. I will hold you a little longer, knowing that you’ll grow much too quickly. And I will hold you a little more often, because I will be spending a little more time in the rocking chair than before.
Many years ago when I first became a grandmother, I was younger and more nimble than I am today. My hair was darker, my skin smoother, my bones sturdier. I could still get down on the floor to play--and I could even get back up again.
By the time you come along, the years will have claimed more of my youthfulness. My hair will be mostly gray, and wrinkles will decorate my face. Though my metal knees may be quiet, other joints in my body will groan as I make attempts at child’s play.
The years have been good to me--I am a wealthy woman when it comes to grandchildren. Each one is unique and holds a special place in my heart. And you, my youngest grandchild, will have your own distinct role in my life.
You, dear baby, will be the last of your generation to arrive. The grand finale of a beautiful symphony. The happy ending of a wonderful novel. The sweet, sweet icing on a delicious cake.
And in some ways you will signal the end of an era for me. For in the years ahead when the great-grandbabies begin to arrive, I will be older yet. My hair will be whiter, my skin more wrinkly, my bones creakier. I may not even be able to sit on the floor, and I know I won’t be climbing back up without assistance.
But though my appearance will change and my body will lose vigor, some things will remain the same. My heart will still be big enough for each new baby that joins our family. My arms will still be strong enough to grasp every little loved one that comes into their embrace.
And my lap…well, it will always be there to hold sweet precious treasures as I rock in my old rocking chair.