I just have to tell you, readers, that I love being a grandmother. A "Grammy," that is. It is quite simply the best job on earth.
I always thought I was born to be a mother. Motherhood was the only career I ever really wanted--the job I dreamed about having from the time I was a young girl, tenderly caring for my 8-inch vinyl baby doll--a sweet [now]vintage cutie with painted-on hair and blue eyes that opened and closed. A high-tech drink-and-wet number, this doll had one little hole in the center of her rosebud mouth, so that she could be fed with a bottle, and another in her nether regions. It was just like taking care of a real baby! Right?
The doll of which I speak was a gift from my maternal grandmother on the occasion of my birth (the birth of her first granddaughter). It came with a pint-sized wooden crib, painted white and decoupaged with pastel animals. More than half a century later, I still have that doll--none the worse for wear, except for a few ink marks on her skin, and faded lips that were brought back to life with the help of some pink nail polish. I still have that crib, too--although the paint has begun to chip away in spots. If I was at home right now, instead of at the house in VA where my little G-Man lives, I would take a picture of my childhood doll and her little crib and show it to you. (Remind me to do that someday down the road, won't you?)
Yes, motherhood was the stuff of dreams for me; and God is so good to me, when I grew up and married my Prince Charming, He gave me exactly what I'd always wished for: a house filled with children. He gave me five sons, who grew from chubby, rosy-cheeked, bright, funny, utterly endearing little fellas into tall, strong, handsome, bright, funny, utterly endearing young men. Now, incredibly, four of those former little fellas are married, and two of them are fathers themselves.
And those children they've brought into the world, those three precious little girls and that one precious little boy (so far, wink wink)...oh my, no one told me how much I would adore my grandchildren! Well, actually, my dear late father-in-law did: he used to say, "If I'd known how fun grandchildren were, I'd have had them first." And this was a man--trust me when I tell you this--whose life had always revolved around his children. He never identified himself by any career he held. (Well, okay--maybe he liked to remember his Naval Aviator days, with a heavy dose of pride and nostalgia, but...) My father-in-law was always first and foremost a family man, a dad. Lucky for me, the apple didn't fall far from the tree, because his son is no different. So it is gratifying to see our boys following in the footsteps of the generations of Pearl men who came before them, transitioning into the roles of husband and father with joy and enthusiasm, and with a seriousness of purpose that proves they realize the importance of both of those sacred vocations. My husband and I couldn't be prouder of them for the way they've embraced family life, and for bringing sweet, faith-filled women of character into our family, giving us the daughters we never had before.
I adore my grandchildren, plain and simple. They melt me completely. Just recently, we were Skype-ing with our oldest son's family, and Cutie Pie (one of the 3-and-a-half-year-old twins) leaned very close to the camera, so that all we could see on our computer screen was the top of her head and her honey-colored bangs, and said quietly, "Grammy, I want to be just like you." Oh my goodness, I can't describe what hearing those words, in that innocent voice, did to me. I don't know if she'll still feel that way ten years from now...but wow, to say that I felt on top of the world when she murmured them that day is quite an understatement.
Cutie Pie's mom also told me recently that she insists on wearing the dressy wool button-up coat that her aunt and uncle gave her for Christmas, all the time, instead of the pink hooded parka that she normally wears. Apparently, it reminds her of one of my winter coats, because she tells her mother the reason she wants to wear it is that she wants to be "just like Grammy." My heart constricts with love when I hear this, and my eyes "get hot" (as her daddy used to say when he was a small boy, struggling mightily to be a little man as tears threatened).
I don't think I'll ever be able to button up my winter coat again without thinking of Cutie Pie and smiling.
And speaking of smiling: check out my happy little G-Man, having a ball in his uber-awesome rubber ducky bathtub the other night. Oh my goodness, this little boy has me wrapped around his chubby little finger. I am in love. (You are, too, aren't you? You know you are! I mean, look at that face!)
Well, time to sign off. The little guy will be up any time now (there I go again), and Papa and Grammy's daycare will be open for business. I hope I'll be back soon. (I'll try...but you know, these days I'm a Grammy first, a blogger second!)