My sweet baby granddaughter Alice occupies most of my time these days. I’m serving as her nanny, and loving every minute of it. Her smiles melt my heart. Her cries melt my heart. In fact, all her funny faces and little noises are dear to me. I’m extraordinarily happy, and it’s not just because Alice is small and cute and happens to be my grandbaby. It’s also the joy of being needed. I wake up every morning knowing I have an important job to do. My daily efforts matter tremendously to our little baby girl and to her parents. During the hours I’m alone with her, I am her whole world.
Babies are inconvenient. I can count on Alice to suddenly need attention at the precise moment I’m sitting down to enjoy my lunch. Ditto, when I’m dialing an important phone call. Some days she can’t seem to get comfortable unless I hold her against my shoulder, walking the floor until my arms ache. During one of these sessions, pacing back and forth with my empty stomach rumbling, I happened to wonder, why am I enjoying this so much? Why is this different from all those times when I’ve resented being inconvenienced by the needs of others? Is it just because Alice is my grandchild? [Read more…]