Saturday, July 28, 2012

Unconditional Love

Unconditional love. You know it when you feel it.   I feel it when baby Chase sees me and gives me the biggest smile of pure joy, his blue eyes sparkling. It's the same for my daughter Michelle, Chase's mother.  Chase sees her now and can barely contain himself; he's off crawling toward her as fast as he can, stretches out his arms, wants to be in her loving embrace.  He's in heaven. He is safe.  Loved.  I feel it when my grandkids run to me with big smiles on their faces, bring me gifts, tell me jokes, tease me, want to visit me.  My daughter Elissa feels it whenever her grandson Philip jumps into her arms with a big smile on his face and joy in his heart.. 

Elissa remembers feeling it first whenever she ran into the arms of my dad, her beloved grandfather (photo of photo right, Elissa at 3-years-old).  And with my mom, too, her beloved Nana.  Michelle remembers.  We lived in Toledo and my parents lived in Rochester, NY, but the distance did not diminish the love.  Every few months we went to Rochester or the grandparents came to Toledo, always laden with gifts and goodies for their precious grandchildren. Once my mom brought an Easter bunny cake. It was pure love, all the way around.    

It’s harder to give and to receive unconditional love as we grow into teenhood and then parenthood. Teens struggle to find themselves, to be their own persons, want to discover who they are apart from their parents.  Parents, for their part, want to protect their children from mistakes, shield them from harms' way, teach them values, right from wrong, so we love them but with conditions, with concerns. 

That anxiety and strong sense of responsibility for raising our children seem to vanish when we become grandparents.  Yep, the grandparents-grandchildren equation is easy and enjoyable, the reward you can get for getting through parenthood!  It’s just so easy to love our grandchildren, to kick back and simply enjoy them, and for them to love  us in return.  Unconditional love.  You know it when you feel it.    

 I'm enjoying the unconditional love flowing between 
Michelle and Chase, mother and son.  
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