When my firstborn turned one, our family planned a cross-country flight to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the Christmas holidays. Before we arrived, my dad shopped for Christine’s first doll. Grandpa wanted to purchase a pricey standup porcelain doll with a frilly dress and long hair, but Grandma said it wasn’t practical for a baby. And so Grandpa chose a soft baby dolly with a bald plastic head and a blue cotton dress.
Every time we returned home for summer or Christmas vacation, Christine packed her dolly for the visit with Grandpa. Baby Amy became a frequent flier with thousands of miles. On our last visit, Baby Amy’s head was sticking out of sixteen-year-old Christine’s carry-on and even became a friendly point of discussion with airport security. For Christine, Baby Amy is more than the gift of a doll; she’s the gift of relationship. My dad is now 80 and struggles with health issues, which is an emotional subject for my teenage daughter, who treasures her friendship with Grandpa.
As a parent of teenagers, I am reassured to know I have the faithful prayers and support of my parents, their grandparents. Thankfully, grandparents and their grandchildren share a relationship uniquely different from parent/child. Hearing Grandpa and Christine skype across the miles, I know that my parents’ faithfulness in prayer, love, and generosity have blessed Christine’s life. Their relationship with her has also laid a foundation for her future and provided a role model for her own grandparenting.
I want to follow the model of my parents and their parents and create a special connection with grandchildren. And in generations to come, I imagine Christine will give her own granddaughter a doll; but more importantly, she will give her granddaughter a relationship that includes prayer and love.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Psalm 119:90 – NIV
About Ann Stewart
Ann just won the Christy Award for Best Debut Novel of 2017 with Stars in the Grass, originated AMG’s Preparing My Heart series, and writes “Ann’s Lovin’ Ewe” for The Country Register. When she's not writing, she's waving her arms directing musicals, teaching middle schoolers, or watching UVA Basketball, This is Us, or Madam Secretary. In her free time she hangs out with her husband, raising two lovely daughters and a whole flock of fuzzy sheep on Skye Moor Farm, in Virginia--where unscripted drama provides plenty of entertaining material.
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