I had the lovely occasion recently of getting to spend several hours with my grandbabies and I was reminded of something I absolutely knew as a child: kids want your undivided attention, nothing more.
During that afternoon together, Lyla, who I was holding, started to get a little fussy. I gathered up a blanket and said, “I’m going to take her outside so she can see the trees.”
Nico gave me a sideways look that read, “Taking her? What about me?”
I said, “Do you want to go?” He nodded, ran to get his shoes and then returned with them on. I noted he was wearing a teeshirt and his underwear, but we weren’t actually going anywhere so I let that go.
About that time, Luna asked what we were doing and I said heading outside. “I want to go!” she called, as she ran for her shoes.” Okay, we’ll be in the front yard,” I said.
Meanwhile, Nico had brought out a toy truck or two to play with while Lyla lay on a blanket staring up at the trees. After five minutes, Luna arrived in an elephant teeshirt, a floral skirt and long socks. “This is my safari outfit,” she said. “I’m ready!”
I decided that we certainly didn’t want to waste that lovely outfit just sitting in the front yard so I suggested that we go to the communal back area of their little complex, which has a nice grassy area, trees and lots of flowers. Off we headed with Lyla and the blanket in tow.
Once there, we spread out the blanket and all relaxed in the soft grass. Then a neighbor woman arrived with her Maltese mix along with a basketful of balls and frisbees and we spent the next 45 minutes playing fetch with the dog. In the meantime, Lyla was happily kicking away, completely engaged with the quivering leaves on the trees and the insistent barks from the dog who clearly was happy to have so much attention.
After a while, the dog and the kids all got tired and we retreated to our separate spots. The kids played with toys they’d brought, Lyla cooed and gurgled and I sat there thinking this was as close to heaven as I’ve been in a good long while. All these beautiful children wanted or needed from me was to simply sit there with them on the grass and let them play. Wow.
I remember as a kid loving that special time I got with my mom or dad when they were not distracted by other things. My mother often read to me, which was our cozy time, and my dad loved for us to sit and have a snack together at the kitchen table. Also, my grandmother would play dominoes with me. That was our special time together and I appreciated that so much.
So, I want to remind myself that nothing extraordinary is required to create a special moment with my beloved grandkids. All I need to do is be physically and emotionally available. Come to think of it, that’s what all of us need and want, isn’t it? People we love to be present and relaxed so we can enjoy each other’s company.
I’m grateful for a reminder of that simple truth.
I hope you’ve had a good day. I’ll be back in touch again tomorrow.