Grandchildren elicit a feeling that no one can prepare you for. It's excitement similar to having a baby but without the fear of being completely responsible for a tiny life. It's love that is all encompassing. It's wanting to be involved without providing unsolicited advice. Biting your tongue when something is done that's not quite the way it would be done by you. Realizing your way is not the only way. And learning to share these precious little people with so many others that love them just as much.
When our oldest grandson was born we were there. We were at the hospital hours before he was born and again hours after. We held him as the newest newborn. Living in a different state only allowed us a few short days with him. Seeing him every six months or so after he was born didn't keep him from knowing who we were. His mom and dad have done an awesome job of keeping us as integrated in his life as is possible from 1200 miles away. He will be 5 in February and he is so smart.
Our granddaughter was born almost 3500 miles away from us. We watched her mamas' ever expanding belly for months before she was born via pictures that she sent us by email or text. I knew we wouldn't be there when she was born but her dad made sure that we were on speaker phone minutes before she was born and minutes after. For that, I will be forever grateful. As she made her presence known with the perfect newborn cry I cried too. I counted every day of every month before I met her at 5 month. Again we were able to fall in love with her through pictures and phone calls. In December she will be a year old and I'm teaching her I'm A Little Teapot.
Our latest little guy was anxious to enter the world and was born 6 weeks early. We weren't able to be there and after being reassured that he would be fine we decided to wait until our planned vacation 3 months later. When we met him at 3 months old he was soooo tiny and very much still like a newborn. We're looking forward to seeing him along with his older brother in a couple of weeks. I can't imagine the baby he has become and the progress that he has made.
None of these littles have any biological ties to me but I love them more than I can say. They burrowed deep into my heart and made themselves my grandbabies. I can't say that I don't feel twinges of jealously for their "real" grandparents or the people that they spend days with more often than I can but I treasure every moment that they spend with me. They are mine!