I was told for, quite a while by friends of mine, that their world focus shifted when they became a grandparent. I know that there is a special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. I even observed it up close and personal when my step-son’s wife gave birth to a baby several years ago, and saw the light in my wife’s eyes when she first held the baby.
Wow, I thought, this is special. So, to confess, when I received a call from my son in law on May 4 at 10.30pm that my daughter had given birth to a healthy baby girl, I gathered up my wife, met my son and broke the land speed record for driving from the suburbs to the city hospital.
To tell you the truth, I had no idea what to expect when I went into the birthing room. Less than an hour after giving birth, we walked in to that room to see mom and dad doing well and baby doing very well, nestled contentedly on her mom’s chest, having a late night snack and celebrating a Phillies win! What was so unbelievably powerful was the scene of my daughter being transformed into a mother right before my eyes. As many of you may have experienced, this is a very powerful moment; spiritual, if you will. The chain of generations and life is there before you. We were lucky several days later to be able to bring the baby’s great grand mother to see her. It was a very meaningful mother’s day.
There is a lovely prayer from a home prayer book that welcomes a grandchild. It blesses the day and gives thanks for the new life and new chapter in our lives as we become a grandparent. It asks that parents be granted the joy of seeing their baby grow and then asks that we grandparents be granted the joy of seeing this child develop all their faculties and that the child be able to fulfill its full potential. (Gates of the House: CCAR Press. NYC, NY) That really does sum up much of what we all were feeling and I am sure it is a feeling many of you have felt. We cannot know where this child will go or who she will become. That destination is far beyond us. We can only, all of us, give love, care and support.
Now, if someone can tell me; are there really are any rules or limits on spoiling this baby…….????
Rabbi Richard F. Address
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.