Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Loey!

One year ago, Loey Lucille Silva was born. My first grandchild. So exciting!
We had a fantastic birthday party, very impressively organized by Loey-Mom Lauren. Loey had a three hour nap before it started, so she was in fine form throughout, plus there were a half dozen other kids for me to play with, ranging from 10 weeks to 11 years old. Great fun! Here's Loey in her tiger outfit:

It's such a pleasure and honor to take part in raising a child. Everybody talks about how grandparents are so lucky: they get to spoil the child and then leave it to the parents to do all the "heavy lifting" (disciplining the child, for example).

I suppose...I certainly have no intention of interfering with Chris and Lauren as they make their decisions about how to raise their child. I want to help them in whatever way they ask.

But my commitment to Loey and to any child I meet is this:

I give you my unconditional love, and I give you my full attention. When I am with you, I am entirely with you, listening and responding to your gestures and words (or pre-word noises; I have had the most delightful "conversations" with five-month old babies), encouraging your development.

Whenever I am in a group of people and see a baby not being held, not being talked to, all I can think of is: "Wasted opportunity! Why isn't someone holding that baby, interacting with her, making sure she is engaged and learning?"

And so that's what I will do - or at least I will greatly want to do that. I have learned over the years that I can't just walk up to complete strangers and start a direct line of communication with their baby. But, as members of my family will tell you, I sure do try!

Anyway, as Loey begins to walk and talk, all I can think of: we have so many wonderful years ahead of watching her grow up, helping her become a compassionate, smart, engaged, funny and healthy human being.

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