We met our first great-grandchild a couple of weeks ago. She is, of course, the most beautiful great-grandbaby ever born, although I am sure many other people may have felt this way about their first great-grandchild. They simply have not seen ours yet.
I am always fascinated and amazed as I watch little babies, newcomers to this world, grow and realize their potential to act with the bodies they are in, and then to deal with the world around them. When you think about this, it is awe-inspiring what little ones are capable of doing after only a short time here.
We all went through this, of course, but we don’t remember it, probably because our growing brains get filled with so many complex things as we grow that those first, rudimentary steps are quickly forgotten.
My first memories go back to when I was about three years old—just flashes of early experiences. But I can still remember some of the joys in the perpetual motion of childhood—running against the wind, climbing trees or the backyard swing set, jumping off of walls or other high perches, hopping, skipping. Have you ever noticed that little children almost never just walk somewhere? After they learn to walk, they run or skip or hop everywhere.
It seems as though the spirit child of God living inside that young body just can’t get enough of learning how to use it.
Blessed are those little ones whose loving parents teach them the right things to do with their bodies.
I wish I had enjoyed watching my own children grow up as much as I have enjoyed watching my grandchildren. I was too self-focused, too concerned about how my children’s behavior might reflect on me as a parent. On the other hand, I have truly enjoyed watching my grandchildren develop their intellectual and physical capacities. They amaze me with some of their accomplishments and talents. (And yes, I realize that your grandchildren are equally as talented and beautiful as mine.)
I want to say to our new great-granddaughter, “Welcome to this world, little one. It can be a very happy, very joyful place. In time, you will find there can also be sorrow and pain. But those can wait. For now, enjoy all the learning and growth that lie ahead of you. There are so many people around you, starting with your parents, who want to help you learn how to experience all the joy that can be found in this life.”
As great-grandparents, we’re deeply grateful that your parents are determined to help you learn how to walk by faith in this life. That way, even when the body you’re living in is no longer new to you, the spirit inside can always continue growing. It is made to go on learning through eternity.