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Yesterday was Father’s Day.  It reminded me of something I wrote some time ago about seeing my son as a father for the first time.  Here is a portion of that post:

“The flurry of memories that fly in and around my mind when I recall the day our first grandchild, Zoë Alyson, was born are legion. We had anticipated her birth with joy. As Hubs and I had been blessed with sons and no daughters, the arrival of Zoë was an extra joy – a little lagniappe, because we would have been over the moon whether we had a grandson or a granddaughter! When we got the call that Zoë had arrived, we packed up our car, made the necessary phone calls and arrangements, and then got on the road for the 9-hour trip to go see for ourselves this new wonder of our world.

I was prepared to be awed by this beautiful little girl, and I was.

Ashley and I walked into the birthing room at the hospital, and did all the “grandparenty” things one would expect! We kissed our daughter-in-love, our son, and then beheld the incredible gift of God, our Zoë. After I sat down for a few moments, and got my breath, and dried my eyes, I looked up to see Matthew, across the room, holding his newborn daughter in his arms, and gazing down at her; the light that was shining through his eyes was something that I had never witnessed before that moment. Right before my own eyes, I saw our son, our own baby, become a father. Being witness to that transfiguration was and still is one of the most precious moments of my life. It was like seeing what you suppose is a very clear picture, and then watching leaf after leaf of filmy overlay peel away and reveal the pristine image, the ultimate reality of the man you thought you knew.

Matthew was, is, always will be our son. But at that moment of clarity, and in my presence, the definition of who he is and all he can and will be was revealed to me. There has never been a sweeter or more beautiful vision in my life, and the souls of our beloved parents and grandparents crowded around us, filling that room with unprecedented joy. I never knew such feelings were possible. But they are. The moment was real. I was there. I bore witness to this wonder, and I am still in awe.”

So that was a bit of some of my “yesterday’s” thoughts.  It came to my mind because two mothers – me and Suddie (Zoë’s Mom), took  two of the fathers of our lives for a special brunch at a very nice restaurant in Asheville. What a joy!  It gives me such pleasure to see my husband slip into his “Father Mode” when he visits with his sons.  I was beaming – looking at our son Matthew, my daughter-in-love Suddie, our granddaughter Zoë.  It was a perfect time together.  Zoë was delightful and entertaining – even to guests sitting at other tables.  She has gotten into the habit of waving “Hi!” while she says her version of Hi, which is “Hahhhh.” All the while grinning.  She doesn’t say “bye-bye” yet, but she does wave “bye-bye” with an entirely different look on her face – a look that says, “Don’t go!  I’ll miss you!” Priceless.

Just as priceless is watching Matt in his “Father Mode.” He is watchful, loving, proud, satisfied, and above all – he is a grown up.  Ashley and I conversed with him not so much as his father and mother, but as we would with another adult.  We just feel so awesomely blessed!  After brunch we went over to visit Joshua and Sarah Beth, and get in a visit with Pepper.  Again – what an amazing time to visit with two such fine people, and see them smiling in delight with each other, and feeling so welcome in their lives.  Parenthood doesn’t get much better than that!  And Pepper!  Oh, my!  He is sooooo happy!  It made us feel so good!  Josh showed us something that Pepper is doing now:  whenever Josh takes out his guitar and sings, Pepper starts dancing and singing along!  It is so funny, and touching, and exciting.

We could not help but feel wistful and a bit teary about our own parents.  They all would have loved to see their grandsons so happy, and their beautiful great-granddaughter.  We have all been so blessed – beyond my wildest dreams!  Who ever would have thought that two people – Ashley and Paula – despite their many mistakes and missteps as parents could ever have ended up with such a closely bound and loving family!  Of such a thing I am also in awe.

Being around our children and beautiful granddaughter gives us such a great feeling – one of confidence in all our tomorrows.  It’s not that we see, necessarily, a future filled with the same visions, but that we see lives that will continue to move on after us in the assurance that they are loved, and they will always share it – with one another, and with anyone who needs it.  That is our piece of eternity – our confidence in the awesome power of love.

With our fathers, and mothers, our spouses, sons and daughters-in-love, and our granddaughter, we are every day reminded of the abundance we have of enough. . .

Ashley rocking and singing to Zoë

Granny Paula singing to Zoë

Ashley’s Mom & Dad, Frankie and Clayton Calhoun

My parents, Pearl and Max Tohline

Matt and Zoë

Josh and Zoë

Sarah Beth and Zoë

Josh and Matt on the swings

Adam and Zoë

 

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