My husband had a moment of understanding recently as we celebrated our son-in-law's Graduation Ceremony (an MBA in Technology no less).
The graduation took place in a sports arena. Bill (that's my husband) spent most of the time standing in the background, holding our tired little grandon while our daughter tried to film the event. It wasn't until the long drive home that he shared it with me.
It had started with fragments of two scriptures, here's the first one:
"Children's children are the crown of old men..." Proverbs 17:6
The birth of his own girls turned his life and heart upside down (I know I was there) but he was busy, we both were, first with twins and his studies, then adding our third little girl, a budding career, more College, life, marriage, family, budgets, everything. We knew we were crazy about them but, being "it" for them, we were consumed with their well-being, our own delight was rarely a focus. That's how I explain the difference between being a parent and a grandparent.
But as my mom often points out, he WAS a puddle for his own girls. Still is. What he didn't expect however is that he would also, and perhaps even more so, be a puddle for his grandchildren. Well, he is.
So as he was standing in the crowded arena, alone with the tired little tyke draped over his left shoulder, cheek to cheek, he shed a few gentle tears of gratitude (did I say puddle?) and he wondered about all these feelings (he's an engineer and generally leaves feelings to me). Then those two scriptures (the second one will be part 2) slipped into his heart. He understood in a moment why, here's what he said:
...grandchildren represent the future and their very presence in his life says, in effect: "you might not have been the primary care taker" (he was second mate to "moi" in our traditional stay-at-work-dad and stay-at-home-mom household) "but you did start this thing and worked your whole life, denying yourself to make a place for me so I can grow and be a part; I am your crown, I am here as a tribute to your love, your constancy and your enduring devotion."
Somewhere they must know it, because they adore him.
Happy future and happy Father's Day.