We locked eyes and he held my gaze. Mesmerized, I silently stared into pools of deep blue. I willed him to know me; to sense the intensity of my love. But he simply cooed between a series of smiles, then yawned. It was as good as I was going to get from a three-month-old.
Sunday was Mother’s Day. We all know one can “mother” (nurture, care for, educate, protect, love) another without giving birth. And yet, becoming a mother changed me…it changed me for the better. Assuming the role and its responsibilities enabled me to develop sensitivities, use my instincts, and build skills that have served me well for thirty years.
I was happy to be remembered and acknowledged by my kids on Mother’s Day. But I was most excited to celebrate my first Grandmother’s Day by babysitting my new grandson last weekend.
With his parents away for the weekend, my husband and I were on duty to care for the infant for two-and-a-half days and two nights. I cleared my calendar, made myself available, and made the baby’s schedule the center of my time and attention.
First and foremost, I was pleasantly surprised he slept through the night. More importantly, I was glad my “muscle memory” kicked in. The feeding, diapering, changing, bathing, and playing were as natural as could be. Given that I haven’t cared for a baby for quite some time, I was happy and relieved that all went seamlessly well.
The best part, of course, was the opportunity to have one-on-one time with little Ryan. He won’t remember it. But we will. I know a relationship was established — a connection was made — and future interactions and visits will build upon it. I already can’t wait to see him again!
I cannot thank my son and daughter-by-marriage enough for entrusting us with their precious child. It was the best gift ever. I am grateful.