By Cristina J. Lozare
“I don’t remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.”
-Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year
It was like falling in love all over again. Just as they said it would be. Lola, what Filipino grandmothers are called, is a title I am claiming for the first time in 60 years. I am struck with Isabela’s [ a.k.a. Izzy] pristine innocence and freshness. I come away from each visit amazed at how this little being changed our lives. It is like being in Indian summer in the midst of winter. I know that parenthood can at times feel like being lost in the vastness of wilderness. On the other hand, being a grandparent is like walking a straight line through the woods and skipping happily at that. I am bowled over by the purity of unconditional love that pours out of me when I think of Izzy.
Anne Lamott just became a grandmother too and published Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son. It is a heart-warming memoir full of anxiety, doubt and love about her 19-year-old son, Sam, and his desire to provide for his family while still a student in college. Lamott discovered that she found her third great love, “along with Sam and Jesus,” in baby Jax. Sam Lamott writes about his love for his newborn son and his dreams of keeping his family together. His childhood was narrated by his mother in Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son’s First Year in 1993. Both books can help you understand the impact that parenthood and grand parenthood can have on a person, not that anyone can ever truly be prepared for either.
When I take care of Izzy, vignettes of my children when they were babies run through my mind. I can feel a tangible, nostalgic link with my parents and of all the generations past. There is an intensity of emotion that I feel when I hold Izzy in my arms. I hope that I will be granted the gift of time, enough to dance at her wedding someday.