Age gives so much perspective. We tend to think that, once we're adults, we are done growing but we are always becoming something more, something deeper. Another layer is added to our souls and we don't always even notice. It took becoming a grandparent for me to grasp how much joy I brought to my own grandmother.
Last night, the grandboys slept over. Ron doesn't do well with middle of the night kicks to the kidneys so he headed to the guest room, relinquishing both little darlings to me and the comfort of our queen-sized bed. (Which shrank as the hours progressed: Small children have no respect of personal space when it comes to sleeping.) I awoke many times as they abruptly shifted positions, usually over the top of me, mumbled in their sleep, or asked, "Is it morning yet?" and told me,"I need a drink," every half hour. Once awake, I'd take advantage of the light coming in our window to admire their sleeping faces, long lashes against flushed cheeks. I pushed their hair back from their foreheads and fell asleep closer to them than they ever let me get during the day.
I remember childhood sleepovers with my own Gram. She had a big, soft bed and an old mirrored dresser filled with silky nighties that smelled like Occur! perfume. I would snuggle under the covers enjoying the companionable warmth and weighted dent of a bigger body next to mine. It was luxurious. All was well in my world. On those nights, did my Gram wake up and watch me sleep--damp wisps of hair against sunburned cheeks? I can imagine now what a treat it must've been for her to snuggle with the busy child who had no time for such nonsense during the day. Or the long summer days she must have hidden laughter when I told her elaborate stories or showed her my muscles as she gazed into my serious, sweaty face. I understand, now, how easy it was for her eyes to sparkle whenever I walked into her house, to drop everything and give me her full attention.
I always knew how much I loved her. I am just beginning to realize how much she loved me.