I am one of the countless grandmothers who are caretakers of grandchildren. While I never expected to be called into service like this, I relish it. I’m sure that many grandparents found their worth affirmed when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to reassess everything in our lives. Parents became teachers and providers all at the same time and grandparents were seen as valuable contributors able to step in and take up the slack for parents who needed free, able-bodied back up.
My home became a haven and a school and even though I do not have formal training I became a teacher, counselor, and an educational stand-in to a three-year old that is wise beyond her years. She has refused to let me go into old age gracefully or without a fight. My emotions are stirred and scrambled as I watch her challenge boundaries and calculate the distance between my patience and my sanity. She has kindly and confidently declared that she is the boss and while observing the way she gracefully navigates life, I have to admit she is absolutely correct!
The consequences of spending time with a 3-year-old are that you are forced onto your knees or on the floor to see the world from their level. Funny how the world looks from here.
From a child’s point of view, everything is possible! Barbie can talk, she and Ken have a perfect marriage and their children are named Bluey and Bingo and look like blue and orange puppies.
When I get distracted by the pinging of my cell phone or thoughts of upcoming bills or impending doom, I’m gently pulled back into her world by one sweet phrase, “grandma let’s play!”
The consequences of hanging out with a three-year-old is that I realize that I like to draw and color even if I can’t do either one very well. I understand that it’s not about my skill level and everything about the time and attention and looking into my granddaughter’s eyes when I speak to her and the revelation that she knows when my nods and grunts mean that I’m not paying attention at all.
We must pay attention because if we don’t, we will miss the real meaning of life and purpose that only a child can teach us. The lesson is, is that life is short and sweet and moments with grandchildren are precious because they are precious! They teach us that the truth still matters, and they are perfectly willing to tell it. They also teach us that love is not just reserved for one day in February, that love has nothing to do with color and everything to do with surrendering our hearts to see love in absolutely everything because everything can talk like Barbie and anything and anyone can be your child, even puppies that are blue and orange, and everyone can be family or your best friend! And nothing else matters except hugs and kisses and snacks and eye contact!
When we take the time to look into a child’s eyes, we don’t have to look deep because everything that’s important is front and center. When our grown-up tainted minds and hearts still don’t understand, then all we have to do is wait for that tug on our leg and the sweet request, “grandma let’s play!” I smile and wonder where she has gotten the energy while at the same time praying for more of the same. Then glancing at the clock, I calculate the time
between nap time and now, I grab Barbie’s husband from her hand and acquiesce to the truth that yes, she is the boss! These are the consequences of hanging out from time to time with a three-year-old; you’ll be tired, you’ll feel old, but you will also feel joy beyond anything that makes sense. Finally, I learned that not all consequences are bad, some teach us patience and love and possibilities, and some reintroduce us to the child that still lives inside us.
Now, those are consequences that I can live with!
About the Creator
I adore words and I love what happens when we grab them, sleep with them, holler and scream and laugh at them! I love what happens when we throw them in the air and watch them fall magically from our minds onto paper!