“Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged”(Proverbs 17:6a NLT).

So far the Lord has blessed us with four grandchildren. We delight in each one. They are our crowning glory, circlets of richness upon our heads. I remember the joy that welled up in my heart as I first cradled each one in my arms, a miniature model of their now-grown-to-adulthood parent. The tidal wave of love that washed through my heart was as transformative as when I first held each of my own children at birth.

I had never expected to feel that way again. But there it was—all the love, all the attachment, and all the wonder! But this time, I skipped the uncomfortable pregnancy, the difficult labor, the hard work, the sleepless nights, and the pressing responsibility.

Grandparenthood is the best of both worlds.

One of our sons, his wife, and their daughter visited us for about ten days. On one of the evenings, we watched our granddaughter and sent her parents off on a date alone together. With our grandbaby, we went for a toddling walk, played at the park, strolled, and studied the sky together while reclining on the backyard blanket. Her almost-two-year-old prattle amused us with its wit. She now verbalizes five-word sentences with her own idioms. We were frequently beseeched, “Pretty, pretty please….”

By the end of the evening, two tired grandparents and one adorable toddler curled up together in pajamas to watch Sesame Street. Eventually we fell asleep cuddled together. Throughout the night, she slept between her grandpa and me, waking periodically to fuss about her teething.

There was thrashing. There was sleeplessness. There were odd bumps in the night. There were tiny feet in faces. There was a hard little head crashing into grandparents’ abdomens. There was a crowded bed. There were bleary eyes in the morning.

It was wonderful.

“That was almost like heaven,” my husband told me the next day.

It was reminiscent of days gone by when our bed was often full of small children who had slipped in during the night and crowded in between us. How did time fly by so quickly?

Grandchildren are a gift, a vivid reminder of the first blessing—the child, and a reward for raising that child who now parents your grandchild. They are an accolade for keeping a human being alive, getting them fed and grown, and fostering a person who births the next generation. Good job!

The parental task is herculean and is one we can only do by God’s grace. Now comes the grandparents’ crown, the third-generation gift from God, the supreme pleasure of loving a grandchild unconditionally, and the doting on their every word and all their sweetness. Thank you, Father, for these precious gifts.

“But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!” (Psalm 103:17-18 NLT)