Spending a slice of life with my grandchildren is always a treat. I try to be sure to give each of the four of these precious little girls equal time, but that’s not easy. They move too fast, and you must talk and act quickly, or they will be on to something else. After 6 out of 8 five-minute piano lessons, the first outing to the mall and watching them all reveal their little personalities, I feel so blessed. Each one is different, and sometimes they love each other and show it in such sweet ways, and the next minute they’re chasing each other because one has taken something of the other’s. It’s a circus but one filled with love, fun, energy and laughter.
Seeing children in their own environment paints a very different picture than having them visit. I don’t correct them, tell them to pick up their things, advise them not to fight—it’s not my turf—not my role. I prefer to observe and encourage. Of course, I’m only here for five days. I want them to remember the places I hid when they came home from school each day. I want them to laugh at how ignorant I am about technology, even though I know more than many of my peers. I want them to see what “dressed up” looks like and how no matter how many wrinkles people have, they can still be silly and young at heart.
Last night, we went shopping at the mall. Of course, each one wanted to go to a different store, and a stop at the Pet Store was a must. (See dog toys below). The first stop was Bath and Body Works. They all ran around spraying themselves and spreading all kinds of lotion all over their tiny arms. They are all excellent readers, so “Try Me” was a given. I didn’t think they would even be interested in all this, but they loved it. $32 later, we left and headed to fur.
It is sweet how much they love the cute little dogs. The oldest wants a dog, but mom says “Absolutely not.” They do have four dogs at their dad’s house, after all. The wonder of little faces watching fur balls frolicking behind glass is always smile-worthy.
A stop at the Disney Store was next. You never know when you will have to make an ethical judgment about things, and as a grandparent, I certainly didn’t want to teach “cheating.” The oldest wanted a toy that had four smaller toys inside. She wanted to switch the ones inside with those she had picked out of the same size. I said, “I don’t think we should do that ourselves because that’s kind of cheating.” The obvious answer was, “They won’t know.” I did the mature thing, I said, “Go ask your mom.” We did the right thing.
One of the twins who marches to her own drummer looked at my new Florida driver’s license. She said, “Wow, Mémé, you look like a teenager there. But you have an old neck.” You win some. . .
If you wonder why you don’t hear from your out-of-town children, just spend a day or two with them, and you’ll be glad you hear from them once a year! How many little kids have you been around lately? If a lot, just spend a day away from them, and you’ll be surprised how empty you feel. If not a lot, find a way. It’s heartwarming and humbling.