Watching your kids be parents

The “aha” moment came during recent Skagit Valley excursion. There we were with our son, daughter-in-law and one-month-old grandson, taking a tulip break and enjoying the only warm, sun-lit day spring has delivered so far.

“Wow - look at that stroller,” commented my son, a medical resident who, up till now, defined “stroller” as a person who likes to take walks. “It’s got a special seat for an extra child. Haven’t ever seen that before.”

That’s because he hadn’t ever looked.

I agreed that it was a pretty nifty baby carrier and then couldn’t help saying, “Do you realize you just noticed a stroller?”

He grinned.

That’s yet another very cool thing that happens when you become a grandparent: You get to watch your kids become parents. And as we all well know, becoming a parent changes you. Forever.

It transforms you into a grown up. A real grown-up, not the pretend kind who just looks like one and might even be appropriate grown-up age.

It makes you wonder, when the baby’s fussing from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. every night and you’ve tried everything to calm him down including strapping him in his car seat and driving around the block five times at that ridiculous dead-of-the-night hour, how you’re going to make it through the next day.

It makes you marvel at how this little thing can kindle so much feeling and wonder and hope and, yes, just plain love.

And with any luck, it makes you appreciate your own parents so much more.

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