Am sitting at a café I frequent and trying to get some work done for tomorrow. Yes, deadline is tomorrow and I need to focus and work fast.
Can’t help but notice two Grandpas sitting diagonally across… talking and chatting and reminiscing about life. This cafe is a quiet place so I can hear them talk. Nice folks, I think to myself. Seem to be in their 70s… judging from their attire, clearly retired business folks enjoying their free mornings. And there they are talking… much of their talk revolving around their growing up years AND their parents. What mum did… what his father was like….
I listen. I start thinking…
These are folks who have seen much, done much and experienced much… probably with lots of rich stories to tell of their lives. That’s my first impression. They’re probably grandparents to somebody, parents to somebody. That’s what I see… initially.
I start to see them in a different light as I catch more of their conversation while staring at my emails… ‘somebody’s children’ I hear myself saying… ‘they are not just grandpas or papas but somebody’s children too.’ Yes, very matured children indeed but still, children to their late parents. An identity they have not lost over the decades but clearly very much alive as is evident in their exchanges.
My mind drifts off at this point… thinking about parenthood…. thinking about parenting… thinking about children.
The Grandpas… they’ve come so far in life, having said farewell to childhood many years ago… and yet memories and feelings about their growing years and of their parents are most deeply embedded in their minds (and perhaps most meaningful too). Specifically what their parents did and their impression of their parents. Here they are… talking about their parents like a child would about his parents. There is a sense of nostalgia and pride as they talk about their dear parents… I know their parents are very much of who they are.
I muse over the word ‘parents’… and ideas and words flow into my mind. My mind has a mind of its own (does this sound crazy?? haha) and is churning out something… I let loose and keep observing the nice folks. And then it pops into my head…(ding!) ‘Parenthood… wow. We are parents for a lifetime… not our lifetime but our children’s lifetime. That honor and sphere of influence that a parent has do not die along with our time on this earth but carry on as long as our children are alive.’ Wow. It’s a wow for me.
What a powerful role a parent has! What privilege it is to be a parent!
The word powerful.the word privilege.take on an added layer of meaning for me.
I grab my phone and share my thoughts with my hubby. He feels it too.
I am writing this out because I don’t want to forget what I am experiencing this morning. ‘This is my book blog not my journal’ I think out loud… ‘but shush~ never mind, I’ve only got a laptop with me right now.’
The memories these two Grandpas hold on to dearest are lessons they took away from watching their parents when they were young. I’m thinking, not necessarily what their parents intended to teach but what they witnessed and what they conclude from what they saw. Reflection: I am my children’s role model. I must walk my talk. I want to be a reflection of the values I want to impart to them. They will take those values with them for their lifetime. What are those values? Gosh, so many. I should give it a good think and write them down. I also want to remind myself to think long term in my daily doings. To have a vision and don’t let myself get caught up in only the now and present. Hmm… this should also help in making ‘letting go’ easier. Parenting is a process. Don’t stumble and don’t stop over ‘now’.
I look over. The two Grandpas have left. They left fifteen minutes ago.
They have no idea what impact they had on me.
They have no idea what lessons I drew from them.
I gained much wisdom just by listening to them…and I don’t even know them.
We can learn so much from them.
I say a silent thank you in my heart.
and then it hits me. It’s time for me to leave too to get my kids.
I’ve got no work done this morning.
But it’s worth it.
I can’t wait to see my kids.