The arrival of a grandchild certainly has made life richer, fuller, busier, and definitely grand. I now often think on a grander scale, on into the future that now will have my children’s children in it. Suddenly my children’s lives will extend another century, and my thoughts travel there often, that world that will present them with pleasures and perils that I will never know and can not help them with. But I look at my two-month-old granddaughter and already see such strength and determination, and I know she will be worthy of the challenge.
Winnie had her first vaccinations this week, and for the first time, something painful was purposely done to her, albeit for a greater good, but caused her pain just the same. Oh, the insult of it! Her reaction was a wailing cry that her mother had never heard from her before, a cry that lasted a full minute. Nursing soothed her somewhat but was interrupted by cries. She settled down on the walk home, but I could not help but wonder what she was thinking. What did she learn from the unexpected shock? What does she think about now that she did not before that afternoon? How did she file away this new experience? By the next morning, Winnie was all smiles, woke up smiling, and spent a lovely day taking in the world.
Back to the grand scale. This episode in my granddaughter’s life made me wonder once again about other babies, and what they are experiencing in parts of the world where there is no safe place, not even for them. How are they processing the noise and pain and lack of things babies need to thrive? What life lessons are they taking away? Do they have days when they smile too, wake up smiling?
Thinking on a grand scale has become unavoidable for me now. I have never felt as challenged, or as privileged.