The square of ice over my heart melted last night, and made its way down my cheeks and out through my tears, in its place grew gratitude.
Letting go of expectations is freeing.
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about the View From Here and while I was writing the post I grieved for what I thought I had lost; another chance at being the kind of mother (in this case grandmother) I wished I had been the first time around. Never ever imagining that a grandchild of mine would be born and not be a part of our daily lives, I made the mistake of looking at the situation selfishly and concluding that it sucked. I concentrated on all the negatives, what things I would be missing out on-- the "do over chance", the cuddles, the opportunities to spoil him--all ridiculously self-centered things. I worried that this child might someday think his biological grandparents didn't care about him. Those thoughts left me feeling sad, guilty and like the whole situation was a direct reflection of the type of parent I had been (or had not been) to my own son. It is very much a reversion to an old pattern of thinking that has ruled most of my life -- and it doesn't make me happy to admit I slipped backwards.
Proof that we are all human and even though we "know" better, it does not stop us from repeating our mistakes.
It took my grandson's incredibly gracious adoptive parents to show me that once again I was taking the glass half empty view. Instead of recognizing that my husband and I did well to raise a child who was able to make a hard decision in the best interest of his own child, I chose to focus on the things that didn't add up to what I'd once expected. What I failed to acknowledge was the awesome opportunity my grandson has to live the beautiful life he deserves. I realize now how fantastic it is that my grandson will be raised by a loving, beautiful, supportive young couple, who have been in essence just waiting for him.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend time with the couple that adopted my grand baby. As they shared a meal and traded stories (and laughter) with my own family, I was able to hold my grand baby against my heart and smell his beautiful baby smell while kissing his soft head. That snuggle I had once wished for.. became a reality, a moment I will never forget. I can already it see it being a happy place I will go when negativity tries to weasel its way back in.
The universe works in mysterious ways.
l see now that life has been preparing me for this life event for a while. Having an "almost daughter", whom I love with all my heart, I know what it feels like to love someone else's child as your own. DNA is clearly not the only requirement for being a parent.
A few years ago I would never of had the ability to understand that someone else could love my grandchild as much (or more even) than I could. And yet I have no doubt that they really do. He is theirs and he has not only their glorious love to grow up with, but the love of their extended family as well. How great is that! I know that they will make sure he knows we care and will send pictures and share the important milestones so that we feel a part of what is going on, without stepping on the toes of his real grandparents.
How silly of me not to have looked at the glass half full side of this experience to see that this adoption would end up bringing great joy and healing to another family. Where there was once a heaviness in my heart, there is now a bright light of love and thankfulness for the experience.
And anyway I slice it, that is progress for me.