He ambled away from the car, the lanky, 6-foot, 16-year-old boy with chin-length hair, the blonde of his early years highlighted with dark streaks and applied color. The curls would be the envy of any girl plagued with straight hair in a society that glorifies a full head of locks.
“Have a good day,” I call as he heads toward the school. The presence of a girlfriend in his life has improved his mood. “Thanks,” he responds.
What I wanted to say: Oh my precious, grandson. May today be filled with joy and peace. May you feel special. I love you more than anything.
He would have called his mom to ask what was wrong with Grandma.
At home, I enter my writing shed and eye the calendar this dear boy made me for Christmas, each month displaying a picture of him in earlier years. A few days late, I flip to March, to the blonde, buzz-cut eight-year-old swinging a golf club. I want to hug him. I miss his squeaky voice, unending chatter, his exuberance for . . . everything.
Parenthood slams one with a love unexpected. Years of responsibilities, heartaches, and joys pollute the love until one is just relieved when the children make it to adulthood in one piece. Grandparenting is another level of love. Unobstructed by the responsibilities, no longer concerned about public opinion, a grandparent can love unconditionally and aim to spoil the children in ways they never did as parents.
Having no grandparents to remember, I wonder if my grandchildren will cherish the memories of the love we give them. When they are grandparents themselves, will they realize the depth of our love? It really doesn’t matter. The love I have for them now is enough for me.