I had the most delightful time with my grandchildren this past weekend. Mom was busy with various things domestic, and could not get away. Dad had to come to town on business, and the little munchkins were along for the ride. This would be the first time that they visited without Mom. Mom works from home, so the boys are her constant companions, being two and four-year olds, and not yet in school. Sometimes when they visit, they don’t want to do much with me, as Mom is nearby, and of course, she is the preferred sun in which their worlds revolve.
I was pleasantly surprised when they stepped out of the truck. They both ran to me with opened arms, and were in very pleasant moods. I took them out of the 100F degree weather, and settled them in the house. They know where ‘their’ room is, and they know that there is a toy box stuffed full of forgotten treasures that are only available at Grape and Pawpaw’s house.
They entertained themselves with the toy box and with running laps around the kitchen island. It was all great fun. They were not needing any ‘mothering’, and it was pleasant just watching them be young, healthy, energetic tots. When they wearied of amusing themselves, they came to my side and started playing ‘monsters.’
It has been a while since I played ‘monsters’, but I had not lost the gist of the game. Growling noises and little tiny fingers prodding my arms and legs as the ‘monsters’ attacked me were met with the return growls and prodding of my much larger fingers. The peals of laughter could be heard all over the house. When the ‘monster’ game had run its course, the next thing the boys wanted to do was color. I had a box of crayons and map pencils in the closet. I also had an old tablet for them to doodle on. This activity was fun, and keep their interest for some time. I enjoyed watching them use the pencils as ‘bombs’ which they let drop from mid air into the crayon bucket. The most pleasurable time I had was watching the expressions as I drew at their command. Now, I am certainly no artist, but I did my best. I was so pleased that the tykes could actually RECOGNIZE what I had drawn.
The afternoon ended with them helping me water the plants on the veranda. I have several potted plants, and they need daily attention. I have a sprinkler head that will give a very light mist, so that is the setting I chose for their help. They made a good attempt to get the water on the plants. In their efforts they got water on each other. The squeals of laughter and the running from the soft gentle sprays of water were so enchanting. I sat there amused as they would take turns with the hose: one being the sprayer and one being the sprayed. I remember watching my own children play in the water, and now seeing my grands do the same was a trip down memory lane.
It is funny how your grandchildren take you back to your mothering days. You think about some of the things you did that were good, and you think of those things that you could have done better. It is sad for the children that parents are only awarded on-the-job training. I am sure this is one reason that grandchildren are so enjoyable. Grandparents get a ‘do-over.’ They can prioritize and adjust their behavior with the wealth of experience they gained with their own children. They know not to sweat the small stuff. They understand that every moment is a treasure, and once it is over, it cannot be recaptured.
I wish I had been a more fun parent. I wish I had relaxed more. I wish I had enjoyed the wonder and excitement in my own children’s faces more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a mom, and I was the best mom I knew how to be. However, there were other things that had my attention also: Was I mothering correctly? Was I strong enough? How would the bills be paid? Where were we going to get the next job… These things and more encumbered my enjoyment of my children.
This is a new season….
Until next time,