In this season one of the most rewarding experiences I have had is the one of becoming NANA! Below are ten of my rewards. I remember when Judah was born 14 years ago. He was our first. I had no idea how exciting it would be to have a grandchild. He could do no wrong!! He was perfect in every way!!! The Bible says that “Children’s children are the crown of old men (and women), And the glory of children is their father.) Provide 17:6. I felt that crown and have been blessed with nine more and there is another on the way. One after the other, each have given me such joy.
Last week I have so enjoyed helping out my son and daughter-in-law by staying with their two children while my son had surgery. We have had fun and my week flew by because I had my days filled with homeschooling and getting meals ready (although my daughter-in-law had everything prepared for me), playing games and watching the Olympics. We laughed a lot and enjoyed each day.
BUT I was not mom and dad. I did my best to fill their shoes but I am Nana and not a parent. Even my hugs aren’t like their hugs and my teaching wasn’t quite like mom’s teaching. I’m not saying I didn’t do good but I am saying I can’t take the place of mom and dad.
One of the things I’ve seen women do is to find their fulfillment in this season by overstepping their bounderies and infringing on their kid’s families. It is hard to sit back and watch your kids being stretched with parenting issues and it’s hard not to try to rescue them from hard seasons. But our kids need support,not rescuing, and encouragement, not criticism.
I remind myself all the time of the hard times my husband and I went through in our critical parenting years and all the lessons I learned that I am now leaning on in this season of my life. I only learned those lessons because I had to walk through them and figure out a lot of it on my own. We didn’t live near either of our parents for most of our kids growing up years and as I look back I see all the good that brought to us. We learned to lean on people in our church and also treasured each visit from extended family.
This season in my life has been a time of refocusing and reviewing what my priorities should be and what brings me fulfillment. At first I struggled with guilt that I wasn’t always available to help my kids as we moved from the midwest to Southern Florida. As I searched my heart, God began to remind that my first priority is to the great guy I married almost 44 years ago. I had to be reminded of this even though it should have been very obvious to me. You see, I had filled my life with all the things that kind of take over when you have kids to raise. Now that I am free of those demands I have had to refocus and decide how I want to spend these fruitful, yet not quite so demanding years of my life.
My husband isn’t the kind that likes me hovering over him and taking care of him but he does like a companion that has time to travel and do life spontaneously with him. We aren’t tied to a schedule. We eat when we feel like it. We aren’t distracted by many responsibilities. We just enjoy being together. He is once again my first priority!! Who knows how long we will have these years together? It’s our chance to be a young married couple again…..without the pressures youth brings! These are the years we talked about when we were first married, as we had those “growing old together” conversations. I had just forgotten them and have had to be reminded.
I so enjoy my visits to both my kid’s homes. We have fun for a couple of weeks at a time and then I leave. My kids love me more and my grandkids are so excited when I come. This is what has worked for me.
Oh yes, the best part of this season is that my husband has my full attention and he loves it! We are reinventing and rediscovering each other. Life is good!