At the altar, my husband and I looked at our future with great anticipation. The spark of love had ignited and in time it produced our family, a mighty roaring fire! We passionately met the demands of responsibility, expending our time and energy. The family fire ran hot.
Alas all fires cool and eventually die out. It is the course of nature. We once burned ferociously; we blinked and before we knew it, our children had grown up and we were embers.
Even still, the softly burning embers are needed! Grandparents have much to offer. We have more wisdom and experience than ever.
As the pace of modern life quickens, new parents are hardly able to cope with the demands required of them. Time, especially quality time, has become gold.
This new batch of little ones can feel unheard or rushed. They get left behind and resign themselves to accept the race, the pace, and the lack of face to face attention.
Is it their parent’s fault? Maybe, maybe not. Good parents want to give their children the best they can, but sometimes it comes at an unexpected expense that a child can not understand but can feel. Suddenly, grandparents who have no need (or at times no ability) to rush, are in just the right place to offer love, wisdom, and time to those little ones who got lost in the shuffle.
Embers are attractive in the quiet in a way that a roaring fire is not. We have something valuable to offer these little ones. We can smile, wink, hug and kiss, tell stories, teach tricks, dazzle and amaze, be gentle, give grace, walk with, talk with, hold, fuss over, cheer on, feed, listen to, pray with, adore and give support. We have abundant riches!
We are exactly where God intended us to be for the sake of those who need us. Our children still need us, even if they don’t express it much. (Just as we probably didn’t.) Our grandchildren really need us and often express it with a smile, a hug, or a “Hey, Grandma watch me do this!” Time is precious and when well spent it pays dividends both ways.
And those embers glow, warmly, quietly, faithfully through the night.
Piper Fountain is the grandmother of 22 and lives in Lansing, Michigan.
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