“I luff you Nana”, she said. Now, I’m not entirely sure if she meant those words this particular time from the bottom of her nearly three year old heart, or if it was the overwhelming gratitude she felt at my latest promise. I had just said, “Nana will send you the Peter Pan movie”.
For anyone who has the immense, incomparable pleasure of being a grandparent, it really doesn’t matter why they said it. It melts your heart, liquefies it right into a puddle of love. Those four little words make you feel like the most important person on earth. They are coveted words and not always shared so freely by our independent little cherubs.
Before we were blessed with Ayda, I remember other grandparents and their endless pictures and chatter about their precious little ones, the most brilliant little people ever conceived. I thought I understood. I didn’t. Not even close.
I was there when she was born. After my nervousness for the safety and health of my eldest throughout the process, I was blissful to see the little dark haired head make its entry on the scene. The thrill of her first cries upon encountering this big, bright world overwhelmed me.
I remember my first trip back out to California after they had been to visit for an extended period. Her daddy had been in Afghanistan serving his country, so they stayed with us during his tour of duty. She wasn’t very old and it had been a few months since I’d seen her.
My daughter picked me up from the LA airport, in the early evening and we enjoyed catching up on the drive back to Temecula. Ayda was playing at a friend’s house and we stopped by there to pick her up. She sat in her car seat and jabbered all the way home. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her but I wasn’t sure she would welcome being held.
I will never forget getting out of the car at their apartment and her little arms reaching out for me, just like those months between visits had never passed. And oh, the feeling when those chubby little arms hugged me ever so tightly. I still get tears in my eyes thinking about it. She remembered!
Am I smitten? Totally! In love with her? Absolutely! And don’t even begin to think you can understand, unless you’re one of the proud, the elite, the grandparents!!