Thursday, June 4, 2015

                                                  "Time To Go Home!"          


     It has been so long since I’ve spent any significant time with young children. Our ten grand-children all live far away, and two of the four families require airline travel. After nine days with the Mc5, I was reminded of so many things.

    The innocence of children can be a healing and inspirational tool for anyone caught up in the immediate issues of everyday living. For nine days, I saw the world through little persons’ eyes. All they see is what’s in front of them. They don’t worry about what they will wear tomorrow or if they will be invited to a friend’s birthday party; they are too busy playing Memory Game for the gazillionth time. After I played with the six-year-old and the 8-year-old a couple of times, I felt so dumb, and I have an excellent memory. Every day we were there, they played the Memory Game. Maybe it’s a metaphor for staying in the moment.

     Of four little girls whose worlds revolved around Vacation Bible School, the Pitch Perfect Acting Class and eating meals provided by a grandma they only see a couple times a year, we never knew which one would cuddle up to us on any given day. The one who supposedly loves me the most said the least. I was reminded several times that what comes out of their mouths is always literal and heartfelt, but sometimes their thoughts are kept inside. Just when I was getting frustrated asking them to again pick up the games and put them away, Ella (6) came up behind me, hugged me and said, “I love you, Mémé.” When I thought the nine-year-old had outgrown little girls’ ways, she walked up and sat on my lap and hugged me. Now, I am not super-grandma by any stretch. I was a high school teacher, and I loved connecting with teen-agers. I had little contact with kids under 13. It is fascinating to watch each of these little girls blossom in her own way and in her own time. Each time I visit, a different one seems to need attention, and the one I thought would demand it didn’t.

     When Mr. Wonderful and I took the twins to the pool, we reminisced about the days of our youth when we got upset when our parents told us it was time to go home. I can remember to this day ignoring my mom when she would call me in the house while I was playing cowboys and Indians with Richie Gray. I was in another world, and I liked it there. We watched the girls get lost in their frolic and hide under the water when we called them for the third time. One of the joys of childhood is getting so immersed in play that nothing around them matters. When was the last time you got so immersed in play that you didn’t want to stop (without alcohol)? It’s all about living in the moment.

     On a few occasions, there were little sister spats. They would tease, argue, pout and even cry a few tears, but ten minutes later they were giggling together. Forgiveness is not even a word in their vocabulary yet. They just get over whatever it is and move on. Why can’t we adults do that? I know 75-year-olds who are still holding grudges years later. 

     We are now back home hundreds of miles away, but I’ve brought back some lessons. Maybe the next time I get upset about something, I need to drive over to the nearest playground and watch kids.