Silas's parents are both teachers, so when they were earlier discussing day care plans, I offered to be responsible for the Friday of their week. In times when I have another commitment, Claudia and I will work out an arrangement for Silas. Silas is fortunate to have another very loving set of grandparents; his other grandmother provides Monday care for him.
I can't begin to describe what a sheer joy this is for me. I so enjoy our older three grandchildren and relish each opportunity to be with them, so to have a protracted period of time to nurture young Silas is such a delight. I left our home before 6 am this morning to arrive at his home in time for last-minute instructions before his parents were off to teach others' children for the day. I have been anticipating this for so long that I had a difficult time sleeping last night. When the alarm went off this morning I was up without hesitation, quickly showering and dressing, taking our dog Quin for the quickest morning walk of his life and then jumping into the car with my laptop and assorted reading materials.
My first hour this morning with Silas was a little disruptive (for me more than him), but after some carrying with his face to my shoulder and some bouncing on my knee he slipped into the contented quiet of an early morning nap. An hour or so later he began to stir, so I picked him up and fed him his four ounces of formula, attempted a burp and patiently rocked him until he fell back asleep. It is two hours later now, and I can see his little feet moving beneath his pajamas, but his eyes are still closed.
Our son and daughter-in-law (Silas's parents) have a affectionate puggle who has tucked himself between the chair and my left leg, so between Silas on my shoulder and Dexter at my side, I feel surrounded by warmth and peace. Soon it will be time for me to change Silas's diaper, dress him for the day and get him ready to meet his dad for a trip to the doctor.
I have spent some time this morning in thought and prayer, thanking God for the opportunity to be a part of the second generation. This is one of the blessings of having been a committed parent to Silas's dad since the time he joined our family when he was eleven years old. I will always remember the first time I met Kyle (Silas's dad) ... the tentative greeting, the worried countenance, the experience-hardened eyes ... wondering how it might all turn out. Many times in the past decade and a half I have wondered what it would have been like to bring Kyle home from the hospital from the beginning, to have held him and loved him and nurtured him in those early weeks and months of his life.
Like many adoptive parents of older children, I have wondered, "What did he look like as a baby? Was he squirmy? Did he have hair? How did he sleep?"
And today, as I gaze into the face of my son's son, I find some of those questions answered.
And I am grateful. So very grateful to have walked this journey, and to have this opportunity to know the next generation in a way that I could not know the first.