Today marks my granddaughter Rowan’s first birthday. And what a whirlwind first year it has been.
During her first year, while she was growing, developing and learning new skills, I too, became a co-partner on her journey. I had, what I consider a re-birth of life, in a sense. No, I did not go back to square one and start over, but what I did do was to say goodbye to my comfortable life, my routine, my home of Milwaukee for the past 35 years. That was hard. It was traumatic. And it was scary even though I may have given the appearance of it being easy. And I began a new life in a new city and began a journey of discovery and restarting everything I had left behind. What I never admitted to my kids was, after 38+ years, I was terrified starting over being in charge of a new baby. I was reluctant to tell them, I had forgotten how to take care of a baby. I had a deep fear of being responsible for this band new, tender life, and this time, while I would be in charge, I fully understood they were the parents and their wishes came first. But I found as soon as I started, it all came back, almost instinctively.
Starting over has been wonderful for the most part and this year watching Rowan go through each stage has been the greatest blessing. I cannot thank God enough for the opportunity to be here and to see her series of “firsts” which are too numerous to mention.
Pulling your roots up and moving across country is not for every grandparent and I don’t know if I would recommend it for everyone. There are a lot of pros and cons. It is an individual decision that should be weighed carefully. For me, it was the best decision.
So Rowan Lee, I want you to know that as I celebrate your birthday, it has been a blessing for me to get to know you and to see your little personality developing. Experiencing all of her first has been a walk down memory land for me, for as I am experiencing her “firsts”, I am also remembering her dad’s “firsts” too.
I tell everyone, it is like I get to do a do over, but now, I get to go home at night, refresh and begin again each day. Watching her engage with her world around her has been exciting. Watching her sit up, pull up, stand up, and now walk, while holding on is the best! I love her babbling and those moments she responds to me like she is having an actual conversation.
I thank God over and over for this opportunity to be here and for the wonderful relationship I have with her mom and dad. We are a great team, but I recognize my role, as grandma, and am so happy to support them and help out whenever needed. It does take a village! It has been wonderful seeing my son turn into this wonderful, loving dad and seeing my daughter-in-law become this fabulous, patient and loving mother.
I am excited about this milestone and look forward to another year of growth, discovery and joy with little Miss Rowan Lee.