Have you ever tried to describe how much your grandchild means to you? If you are anything like me, it is nearly impossible, as I have never felt a purer love than the one I feel for my child’s child. I can tell them that I love them to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, and times a bajillion, but that can never convey just how much they mean to me, their grandma.
Do you know the feeling?
I wasn’t sure just how to tell them, so I began writing this letter, which I pray they will someday read and, in turn, understand just how special and loved they are:
To My Dearest Grandchild, During your life, you will experience different kinds of love, which continually intensify the older you get. I will never forget when I was a girl around your age and thought I could never love anything more than my mama, daddy, and pet dog. It was true love - I just knew it. In high school, I began falling in love with movie stars and even developed a crush on a boy from my class. I was older and more mature (or so I thought!) and had finally discovered the meaning of true love. The high school days would pale compared to the day I married your grandpa, the most handsome and loving man I have ever known. It was the very definition of true love - the stuff of Elvis songs and Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy movies. Just when I thought my heart couldn't feel fuller, along came our children, each one stretching and molding me in ways I never thought possible. To say it was true love would have felt like an understatement at the time. While I look back on all of this and can feel all those memories come rushing back, I find that none of it compares to the night you, my sweet one, were born. When we discovered we would be grandparents, I knew our lives would never be the same. It is a feeling that I cannot quite describe, and one that I hope and pray you one day feel, as it is joy, pride, peace, and hope all rolled into one jubilant feeling. After the longest nine months of my life, you, my precious grandchild, arrived. When I first met you, I couldn't stop staring, as I had never felt such awe as I did holding you. At long last, you were here. As you slept, I nuzzled your neck, gently ran my fingers through your hair, and studied your features, soon finding your daddy's eyes, your mommy's lips, and, if I am not mistaken, my dimple in your sweet little chin. This, I thought to myself, is true love. At that moment, I wished I could freeze time and keep you this tiny, innocent, and safe forever. The world is scary, and as your grandma, I feel it is my job to shield you from the dark, the bad, and the sorrow. As you grow, I find myself wishing the same thing; however, I have also noticed something else, which is that each age and stage with you is better than the last. When you began to recognize my face and voice and would smile whenever you saw or heard me, I felt like my heart would leap from my chest. Seeing you walk toward me with that look of pride and joy on your face made me feel those same emotions, except multiplied times ten. There is no better feeling than when you hold my hand to cross the street, paint me a picture, or call me grandma with your sweet little voice. Your giggles are like a song to me and your face, the most intricate and priceless work of art. As you continue to grow and our relationship does the same, know that I will always be your greatest ally and biggest fan. Life isn't always easy, but it is always beautiful (sometimes, you just need to slow down to see it). I pray that you can always find the good in the bad, give your voice to those who need it, and always stand firm in what you believe is right. May you always stand tall, work hard, and love with every inch of your heart. I couldn't have handpicked a more perfect grandchild and pray that you know just how precious, loved, and adored you are, for you are my beloved grandchild: my heart, my soul, and yes - my one true love.
It is hard to describe what it means to be a grandma and just how special a grandchild is, which is why I hope and pray that mine will one day read this and get a small taste of how loved and treasured they are by me, their Devoted Grandma.