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Little Augustine Cole | You have completely captured my heart

The wonder and privilege of becoming a grandmother

Despite being forewarned by those of my peers who have gone before, nothing could have prepared me for the birth of my first grandbaby, who, up until the 26 October, 2023 was known as ‘Little Bean’ and all bound up in the surprise of not knowing if it would be a boy or girl.

There is something surreal about your children having children. It is a weighty moment that deserves a little reflection. (That is my initial ‘grandmotherly’ philosophical conclusion).

From the first message announcing the much anticipated news of the arrival of a little boy - weighing in at just over 3kg - relief, joy, exhilaration, gratitude, humility, wonder, awe and a sense of overwhelm set in; all at the same time. What does that look like in the moment? Tears. Lots and lots of uncontrollable, happy tears.

And then we met him.

As soon as I set eyes on his tiny 1-day-old perfection, the world got a little softer and sweeter, my view of God got a little bigger and my heart got an avalanche of love. What does that look like in the moment? Tears. Lots and lots of happy tears (and a grandpa turning to mush). Did I mention I had been forewarned?

Even though I want to be called ‘Nan,’ I now get to add the title, ‘Grandmother,’ to my repertoire of life roles. In Afrikaans I would be ‘Ouma’ - ‘old mother’ - but I think the English got the sentiment right; becoming a grandmother is simply grand!

It’s different to becoming a mother.

When you become a mother for the first time, the same sense of wonder, awe, joy and love are present. But when you become a grandmother, the reality is freer, because it is a love not weighed down by parental fear: “How are we going to do this?” and it is a love not tempered by the sheer scale of parental responsibility: “We have to be faithful in this.”

It is a love that simply enjoys the miracle of life and can just be.

The birth of a grandchild slows the world down a little, causing us to pause at the wonder of a baby being born and the mystery of God honouring the privilege and dignity of growing older in the most beautiful way.

When I hold little Augustine Cole, my arms are full and my heart is overflowing. (I look forward to ‘snips and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails). And in my innermost being I am completely surprised by joy at a little boy who is fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in his mother’s womb by an awesome and majestic creator God.

I dare anyone to defy this reality. (You have been forewarned).



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