It recently hit me; I've fallen in love again. Married twice, I remember that staggering sense of new love but this time it's really different. The object of my affection is a female! She's not one to give my husband a challenge, however. The new love that's captured my heart weighed in at 7 pounds on July 15 and gave me the title of Grandma. I am quite thrilled.
When my daughter told me a little one was coming, I took it in stride, enjoying fun moments looking at tiny baby clothes and selecting a few special things. I looked at her ultrasound images, one arm carelessly flung over her head with a tiny left fist in her mouth. I wondered if she'll be left handed, like her dad.
I even dreamed of seeing her the first time. Nothing, however, prepared me for the real thing.
I walked into my daughter's room. She beamed a smile and glanced to the left. There she was — my new love, two hours old and I was a mess! There are no words for that moment etched forever in my mind.
Joining the ranks of more than 70-million others, according to AARP statistics, I'm not elite with my new title. Estimates say by 2010, there'll be about 80-million baby boomer grandparents.
With about one-third of all adults being grandparents, we create strong influence in the marketplace, and while I've always been a cautious spender, these days just show me a pair of cute socks and I'm reaching in my purse.
There's far more to the title, though, than buying cuddly baby things.
Holding this little one and chuckling at the funny faces she makes, I'm flooded with hopes for her.
So to my granddaughter I offer my thoughts:
May there always be a firm hand of guidance on your shoulders — your parents and family members are there now and in time there'll be good teachers and many friends to help you.
Respect and appreciate the strength, love and dedication of your parents; savor the rich heritage of all that have come before you.
As you grow, cherish what is right and don't be swayed by those who try to turn your head with phony statements or raw deals.
With open eyes, be aware of dishonesty and know truth is always more powerful.
Listen to all people and know negative ones often carry a burden of sorrow and positive ones will offer encouragement.
Know that from giving to others your own life will grow rich and full.
Learn to be gentle when needed and tough during hard times; it's often the rough roads that make us strong.
I wish you the joy of success and the chance to learn from defeat, for losing often teaches the most valuable lessons; I want you to know that losing with grace is far better than winning by cheating.
Cherish the surprising glories of nature. I hope you laugh at the splash of the ocean on your face and gasp when you look down on valleys from high mountains; cherish dew drenched cool mornings and the soft shadows at day's end; watch mother birds nurture their young, count daisy petals and make wishes, and sift through gravel with hopes of finding a gem.
May you always stand firm with your convictions, even when the crowd goes the other way; I hope you'll weigh both sides equally then make the best choice for yourself and have courage to defend it.
I hope you learn that laughter is a wonderful healer but there's also great relief with tears of both joy and sorrow.
I wish for you an immense love for reading and to know how written words can take you to all parts of the universe and all depths of the mind; I hope you'll cherish learning and realize that from it you can become whatever you dream.
Always believe in yourself and your abilities and in the goodness of who you are; meet the challenges of this world everyday and always give your best; it's then you can face yourself with pride.
I would love to wrap these hopes in a package and give them to my granddaughter as I can books and teddy bears, but she's tiny and they wouldn't mean much now. But dreams from a new grandma may be something she will one day carry in her heart.