Step with care and great tact, and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. – Dr. Seuss
Mary Beth turns 50 next weekend and we’re heading to Atlanta to celebrate.
When considering what my wife wanted to do for her milestone birthday, there was no hesitation: Let’s visit Brandon, Ashley, Blair and Baylor.
Being a Papa
It’s been five months since we’ve last seen our oldest son, his wife and our two beautiful granddaughters. We were there when Baylor was born. Since then we have had to settle on watching our granddaughters grow and change on Facebook and Facetime.
But in less than a week we get to hold them – play with them – kiss them, and love them.
Along with excitement of going to Atlanta, is the awareness that I’m still learning how to be a good grandfather. My role as a father will never end, so I’m discovering how I can continue to be accessible as a parent while having plenty left over for my grandchildren – now and in the future.
But being a Papa is easier than expected because my son and daughter-in-law are great parents. And since I’m not responsible for the girls’ day-to-day needs, I think being a good grandfather means I can spend my time offering them love and the little bits of wisdom I’ve managed to collect over the years.
So, as I prepare for next week’s visit, and many more visits to come over the years, here’s the wisdom I plan to share with my granddaughters:
- Your source of strength is limitless because you were born with a purpose only you can fulfil. There’s no one in the world – past, present of future, who possesses the same gifts as you. Place your trust in these gifts and when the opportunity to use them is obvious, use them with passion and confidence.
- Trust your parents. They might not always understand what you are saying or doing, but they will always understand that you deserve their love. By giving their unconditional love to you creates a bond so strong that when you make a mistake, or feel lost, you can rely on your parent’s love to soften the blow. Trust them. Even when you can’t see them, know their arms will be stretched out, waiting.
- Never stop playing. Jump, dance, and skip every chance you get. Color, draw or sketch when you are in the mood. Recharge your spirit by doing what you enjoy. Sometimes when problems seem that they are about to swallow you up, it can be hard to remember to have fun, too. So, find time to let go and play.
- You are beautiful. No matter what people may say or how you might feel, you are beautiful. You don’t need to be perfect to be beautiful, you just need to listen to your heart. When you listen, I mean really listen by tuning out the other noise around you, you will hear your heart cheering for you because it’s a vessel God uses to pour out His love. Let that wonderful stream cover you. When you do, it will leave you feeling worthy, valuable and simply beautiful.
- A valuable life isn’t always found in what you do or what you have; a valuable life begins with understanding that the point of being alive is to love as much as you can along the way. A valuable life is about giving love to yourself when you need it and giving love to others when it’s requested. A valuable life is about sharing your heart when you are ready. A valuable life is measured by the times you trade your mistakes for grace; bitterness for forgiveness and hate for love.
Written on the Heart
There will be plenty to celebrate and cherish next weekend. Though our time there will be short, no doubt it will be filled with plenty of laughter, good food and lots of love.
One more thing I’ve learned is there’s something beautiful, even magical about the sight of a new family growing together. The sweet anticipation of the present moment, and the moments yet to come, create an energy so full of hope that its power, if bottled, can overcome any difficulty.
I can’t wait to add more to what’s going into the bottle so it can be dispensed when needed.