“Give my granddaughter a kiss for me.”
These were my words from a recent telephone conversation with my daughter. Normal by all standards of measure, except mine. For the first 10 months of our granddaughter’s life, our house was her home. There was no need to ask how she was doing or anything else. She was there.
It was such a blessing. One I took for granted now that she has moved across town.
The plan was always for my daughter and son-in-law to establish their own home. I even encouraged it. Often. A friend of mine suggested that living with us was “robbing them of their joy.” I immediately saw this as an honest and accurate description.
You never really know what you have in a marriage until you’re dirt poor, exhausted, and have a crying baby to take care of. That may not sound like JOY, but the satisfaction of calling a place your own and working as a team to figure it all out is wonderful. It might not feel all that wonderful when living it, but no doubt it is.
In the first few days after they left, the air was uneasy and too quiet. My wife and I were empty nesters once before, but this differed from when our youngest went off to college. This time we lost a family of three.
Yet, I am thrilled for the kids and our grandbaby. While it seems wrong to get home from a day at the office and not be able to love on the little one, life is as it should be. And we are blessed that they moved just 10 minutes away. Most grandparents can only dream of such proximity.
So, what felt wrong has proven to be right no matter whose lens we peer through. The kids have taken their joy back. May the relish in the exhaustion of such JOY.
Run in Peace, Rest in Grace