Monday, January 19, 2009
The Joys of Being A Grandma!
Human Being, I just want you to know I am reading your beautiful poetry and want to say hi from here if not from there since your "mail box" is locked for now. **************************************************************************************Today I spent with daughter and two four year old grandchildren. It was fun and tiring. Lots of energy spent. But not complaining. Who would complain given the joy of being with these kids? Even when they are tired and cranky and sobbing their guts out (one once today) ? Not I. I arrived with my usual bag of tricks and goodies in my “Grandma’s Bag”. They immediately saw the Valentine bags I had created yesterday… Hey, they were right on top! I overlooked daughter’s remark that Valentine’s Day Was a month away… (Hey, the stores were full of reminders and I could not pass by the heart shaped candies with Words on them …same candies I ate as a child. They sorted through the box of new marking pens, box of crayons, foam sticker dolls to dress up, Racing car to color and put on its stand. Then daughter said it was time to get in the car we were headed to Tilden Park, & The Little Farm. The farm had animals huge and small, up front and personal, kids fed them long stalks of celery…grandson pulling his hand back quickly, granddaughter too brave getting fingers around long curled tongues and almost inside the mouths of greedy cows, sheep, and long horn ram. I of course clicked away on my camera taking hundreds of photos…needing to capture each moment for posterity. Will they enjoy reliving their childhoods this way some day? Or will they judge me the grandma with the obsession? Darn, they were cute. From the farm we walked down to the nature center where they sat on the cat statue, used the restroom, got a drink of water, grandson laughing at the low little kids drinking fountain since he can now reach the adult model. And on down to the playground where they climbed fake rocks, slid down slides, chased each other round and round. Watching all this makes me nervous. Will they fall from great heights, crack open their precious heads? Daughter assures me that the stuff on the ground is very soft to break any falls. I wish she’d stand by them more closely as I do when they climb. How do children survive all this? How do grandmas? We played catch with baseball and gloves…met friends they knew, shared a snack, then drove to the train, the same steam engine we took daughter on when she was their age, son too and later his son. Seems our family has quite the history with those trains. Then home to their house where Grandson had the first meltdown of the day…he must have been way over tired as he cried for an awfully long time. Grand daughter and I got busy with crafts…making collages with fabric and drawing pictures. Later…Mom and granddaughter decided to go together to get groceries and grandson opted to stay with me alone. He now calm was open to reading some books. The first one he brought me was about Making Things. We looked at the projects until we came to one about weaving. I told him I could teach him to weave paper mats. He and I colored whole pages full (2), then I cut long slits leaving solid paper at top and bottom. Then I cut the second sheet into strips. He wove the strips in and out of the first cut paper making a woven mat. They really looked pretty. He designated one to each member of the family. And was oh so proud to show mom what we’d learned when she got home later. While he and I were working on our art work he turned to me and said: “Grandma, I’m having special time with you!” Words like that are better than winning any lottery! It was special, as was the sitting and devouring story books with both of them then and later. The stories they can follow and understand now are longer and more complicated. They can feed the story back to me afterwards too, getting the hidden meanings and jokes. Granddaughter asked if “Curious George” doll, who came in my bag of goodies, could stay at her house now. Remember the same doll given at Chanukah and then rebuffed by her wanting it instead to come and visit her instead of owning it? So he stayed, I kissed him goodbye and told him to be sure to come and visit sometime. He said he would. I kept thinking I should go home, but they kept finding more things for me to do with them. I wound up staying for dinner…another story or two and then I got hugs and kisses before heading back home to crash on the couch in happy exhaustion. My grandma’s bag set next to the front door…ready for next time. I wonder when I get to do it again? It can’t be too soon!