Chains of connection

For some time now I’ve been reading and enjoying my younger daughter’s blog. I’ve been constantly surprised by the new insights I’ve gained into the life she lives, and sometimes by the way she thinks, but mainly I’ve been delighted to follow the way her children are growing and developing. It keeps them close to me despite the fact that they live about 200 miles away.

When my husband said he could help me set up my own blog, I thought at first it would be difficult to know what to write, but as I tend to be a bit opinionated , I think perhaps I won’t find it too difficult.

For today, I want to talk about how it felt when I was first told that I was going to be a Grandparent, nearly twenty years ago now. It came at a very sad time in my life, the news being given in the phone call I had made to my eldest son to tell him that his father and I were splitting up. So on the one hand I was terribly upset, and then I was being given this utterly joyous news.

Up until then I had given little thought to Grandchildren and to their relationships with their Grandparents, beyond the very happy memories I had of my own Grandparents. Suddenly all those jokes came back to me,about Grandparents and their obsessions with their Grandchildren, their boasting and their photographs. 

I started to think about something my Father had said to me about something entirely different. He had been talking to me about The Book of Common Prayer. He said he liked to go to services where they used these old  prayers, because they gave him a connection to his ancestors, who would have said the same prayers, used the same words, followed the same services.

I realised then that one of the things that was so amazing about this new Grandchild, was that she was connected through the generations to all those people. That however she turned out it was due in some way to each of these people, diluted the further back you go, of course, but that is what makes it so interesting. Who knows whether her eyes are like those of her great grandmother? We know her curls are from her mother…and perhaps also from my Dad.

Since the birth of that first beautiful child, I’ve been blessed with nine more Grandchildren, and I’ve searched the faces of each newborn baby to see what I could recognize in them. Some of them have looked a lot like my own babies, some looked more like the other parent. All of them had something of me, whether I could see it or not. All of them are special individuals, and I like to think that something of my parents and my grandparents lives on in each one of them. It may be my Father’s intelligence, my Mother’s beauty, my Grandmother’s work ethic, my Grandfather’s stubborn ways, who knows? All I know is that I have never got over the feeling of wonder at the birth of another child into the chain that is our family.

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