My parents have just left after staying with us for five days. It was a great short week, maybe a little stressful at times, but we loved being together, and the kids immensely enjoyed the time with their grandparents.
It’s a new-old experience for us. For the first four years of our life with kids, my parents still lived in my hometown, 2.5 hours away. Then, we were blessed to have them move nearby, and for the next four years, they were minutes down the road. Yes, they helped out a lot, and there were many days when I didn’t know what I would do without them, but most importantly, they developed a close relationship with our kids.
Now, we’ve moved away again, as my husband pursues advancement in his career, and we’re more than twice as far from them as we were before. It’s a pretty big bummer, and we’re all still adjusting. But this visit reminded me that the close relationships they built over the past four years aren’t going to fade away. They will never be just the “visiting grandparents” again.
Today, their last day here, was our eldest daughter’s ninth birthday, and for dinner, she chose a new Greek restaurant in town. At the end of the meal, after we had finished eating and my parents were outside with the kids in the courtyard, the owner/cook came to our table.
“It’s nice the kids have the grandparents to spoil them,” he said in his thick accent. “I don’t know if this translates from the Greek, but when you have kids, you love them, and when you have grandkids, you love them twice.”
Perhaps it’s more beautiful or eloquent in his native tongue, but regardless of translation, I understood exactly what he meant. As I looked out at my parents, and the kids running around and laughing and perfectly comfortable with them, tears filled my eyes and my heart overflowed, not only because of the love they share, but also in anticipation of the love I might share with my own grandchildren someday.
Because it’s true. Love grows exponentially through time and generations. The words were simple, but the truth they revealed was profound. I’m so thankful that our kids are twice loved, even if from afar. Nothing will ever change that.