Saturday, May 19, 2012


baby OliveRelax

Last week’s
Oh Baby blog topic was way too big for a single week. And it just keeps getting better! Our granddaughter Olive went home on Sunday. I remember what the first day was like for us when we came home from the hospital after our daughter’s birth: exhaustion and confusion. We definitely had memories about how difficult that time was and thought it would be the same for our kids and their new baby.  Silly us.

The kids and their baby drove home, got settled and have not missed a beat.  First night, first bath, first walk in the stroller, and first time in the musical swing – you’d think they were pros. Fact is, they’re more prepared than we were for something like this.  Advice from family and friends, and the internet prepared these new parents for more than we ever imagined.

In general they’re less affected or frightened by big things (like this) than we were. And they have some incredible tools to help them. Cameras on their phones: they’re always ready and now we have a steady stream of great pictures to show any and every one.  Internet live-feeds from baby’s room to parents’ room: no need to sleep with one eye or ear open.  A crib that converts into an adolescent’s bed: what will they think of next?  Phone apps for every age and activity: who needs a plain old hanging mobile?  Things have definitely changed, and that’s not a bad thing.

I’m really impressed with how the new parents are handling all of this, and how the baby is reacting to all of this too. They’re adjusting well. I was concerned about them figuring out their role and responsibilities as parents; surprisingly, the harder role to figure out is how to be a grandparent. They don’t need us to help or worry about them; they just need us to love and support them. Maybe that’s why everyone keeps saying how great it is to be a grandparent.

I remember how we felt all those years ago: our parents were nervous that we were so unconcerned about the things that they had been concerned about when they had us.  And we survived and did ok.  But here we are worrying about those same things and forgetting what we knew and learned back then: new parents and their new babies navigate their new lives and roles just fine. So maybe there’s a lesson here – everything and everyone will be fine if we just love and support them.  If people need help, they generally ask for.  Don’t try to do any more than what’s requested and feel good about that. Don’t worry unless there’s something to worry about, and for sure, don’t worry about something just because it’s different.

I see my kids embracing change and growing with it. They’ve got no fear – only a curious excitement about what’s next. They’ve got concerns, but those don’t stop them – because they have each other and the knowledge that together they can discover and conquer anything. That’s a great lesson for this grandfather to learn all over again.

Look at how relaxed my granddaughter is in the picture – maybe I should do that too.  This grandparent thing just keeps getting better and better.

My message this week is about being creative in our approach to the lives we lead:

Arte Nathan“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”

Victor Hugo

Victor-Marie Hugo (1802 – 1885) was a French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic Movement in France.  Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (also known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).

What’s tomorrow hold for you?  While it may be more of the same, hopefully there will be some variety too.  Maybe something out of the ordinary or even something good and planned and creative and exciting – any one of those might be nice.  But if it does turn out to just be more of the same, what are you doing to change that? Are you studying, reading and networking to find out what your options and opportunities are – if not, then who’s to blame for the boredom?  Are you collaborating with others to leverage your thoughts and theirs to be doubly creative – if not, then why not?  The future can be mostly whatever you want it to be as long as you follow your dreams, and you’re willing to want it badly enough, and you’re courageous enough to start to create what’s in your dreams.  If you’re not, there’s nobody to blame but yourself; but if you are, then there’s nothing like a dream to create the future!

Stay well

1 comment:

  1. First, I'm so happy to read about Olive and to see Kathleen's lovely photos of your new grandchild. 'Tis a wonderful moment for you all.

    Now, ol' Victor. The tomorrow of Notre-Dame when Hugo published his novel on the great cathedral looked bleak indeed. After the plundering of the French Revolution thirty years before, the Gothic church had become a tenement, a storehouse and brothel. This was no mere abandonment of a building, but the collapse of Parisian, and by extension, French culture. The Cathedral was and remains ground zero, the point from which all distances to the rest of France are measured from, and where all points lead back. It is the center of the nation and it's history. To stand in the great square before the tympanum is to be reminded of the heroic history of France.

    Victor Hugo's novel was nothing short of an appeal to the French to reunite under the restored symbol of Notre-Dame. It would take another decade or so before serious restoration began, and true to Parisian fashion, not without controversy.

    The lesson I see from his novel in relation to your post, is that the accomplishment of dreams, our life's goals, cannot and should not be pursued in a single-minded fashion, without the collaboration of others. Any goal worth pursuing, whether it be the restoration of a six centuries old church, or the creation of a documentary film company (like me), requires the cooperative efforts of others.