By baby stuff...I mean baby clothes, baby shoes, baby blankets, baby toys, baby pacifiers, baby hats, and on and on and on. I love the stuff, all of it. And shopping for it, is an adrenaline rush for sure. The sales on baby stuff are incredible....like a $30 outfit for just $5. Or a little Onesie for $2. Amazing. Why didn't things seem so reasonable when my kids were small? Maybe I just didn't know where to find the best deals. It helps now to be living in Freeport, the outlet store shopping mecca. Even the resale shops here are fun and there's always a surprise bargain that I just have to walk out with. Right now, all the baby stuff I buy is for the little guy in the picture, my grandson Wyatt. I've given him quite a bit of stuff already, I hope he's enjoying them. I have a little stack here at the house, waiting to be sent. I would rather give them to him in person, but I doubt that will happen soon, at least not this week, or the next.
But is giving him stuff what our relationship is made of? Right now, he doesn't even realize he has stuff. Giving him stuff makes me feel that a little part of me is with him, even when I'm not. As it can go, babies can accumulate a lof of stuff before they are even a year old. Then mom has to organize it, clean it, put it away, or hang up the stuff. So, even though the stuff is for Wyatt, I'm hoping his mom will say enough is enough with the stuff when it truly is too much. It's hard to pass up a bargain or something so amazingly cute though...the thought is that surely he can use this stuff or he will look just too cute in this stuff! Sorry mom, if the tendency is to overwhelm you with stuff. But, it's really meant for Wyatt to enjoy and for you to think...whoa...something I didn't have to buy...so thankful for all the stuff!
The reality is, no, I don't want our relationship to be made of stuff. I would rather it be made of amazing time spent together, reading aloud the same story over and over, pushing him in the stroller around the mall or around the park, visits to Grandma's house to enjoy the comforts that only she can bring, laughing and playing or cuddling in the rocker while going to sleep. I want to know the joys of being a grandparent, of feeling the unconditional love that a young child brings, the delight of seeing my own daughter be a mom, the pride and the peace that comes with having the next generations in our presence. Never has so much stuff seemed so insignificant as it does when thinking about the measure of time we actually have to spend with our loved ones. Of course we would lay it down in a second if we thought it was our last second, as if we had a choice of where and who to spend it with....the value of another human being, in this case a daughter and a grandson, cannot be matched with anything in this world that we could possess.
I can only hope they realize this is how I see our relationship. Once that's clear, then the stuff...even though it's just stuff...can flow from one heart to the other. And perhaps, even forgiveness can flow for all the unintentional wrongs that we as parents seem to be constantly reminded of from the past, because afterall parents aren't perfect until they become Grandparents. That's just the cycle that happens, and has for generations.
Since now I'm the Grandparent, I have more time to look for stuff and actually, it's a nice diversion from the other stuff that my days are consumed with, like studying for my next class, paying the bills, wondering where my next job will be... And, since I have a long way to go to get to the perfect Grandparent stage, I better get busy with doing whatever Grandparents do. I'm new at this, just like I was new at being a parent. The thought is...I really want to get this one right. There aren't too many chances left to work on that legacy I'm supposed to leave when I'm gone. I wonder if that means I should learn to play games on the Wii? I guess I'll just have to ask Wyatt when he's a bit older.
~Photo courtesy of Jami Dale~