Like for most things, you can only understand the strong emotions grandparents feel towards their grandchildren once you’ve experienced it.
Between them, our daughter and son have provided us with seven grandchildren. When Joel’s daughter Ariadne was born in 2005 it was our first. Even though we did not see much of our grandaughter, because the family was living in the Hunter Valley, it was such a buzz when we visited them, and took photos and received others of her over the successive years. There was an immediate closeness between her and me, as if something in the genes preordained it.
Of course, mothers stay very close to their daughters, so it’s not surprising that when Kate gave birth to our first grandson, I should take a central role in nurturing him. I was even there at the side of the bathtub, along with my husband, when Kate gave birth to Lee during a water birth at the local Maternity Hospital. He was so sweet, fragile, and slow to start to breathe as he lay on his mother’s stomach with the chord still pulsating. I was one of the first to hold him. From that moment on, I was sunk, a sucker for this tiny child with so many needs and surrounded by so much love.
Now there’s another son, Mark, just as precious.