Not many of us can remember being two. If we could, we’d surely be more open to wonder. We’d remember discovering the world bit by bit. My preacher likes to tell young people that he did this or that before they “discovered America.” In other words, before they were born. That’s sort of how I felt this weekend taking care of my grandsons. They’re on the cusp of three, but still every bit two-year-olds right now. And the world holds many marvels for them. Butterflies, macaroni, slides and swimming pools, to name a few. They don’t bother trying to hide how they feel. If they’re mad, they let you know it. If some brother sneaks up and snatches one of their favorite toys, then they don’t keep it a secret. If they fall down, the bump or bruise is grave – for at least five seconds.
I think all that fresh, raw emotion is what makes grandparents enjoy their grandchildren so much. We’re getting older. We’re ready and able to slow down the clock a little. To sit on a creek bank and watch the frogs, to throw rocks in a pond just for the fun of making a splash, to make up silly stories about chipmunks, or to bounce a little child in the air a dozen times when he giggles and says “Again.”
A neighbor once told me that if she’d known grandkids were going to be so much fun, she’d have had them first. Of course that wouldn’t work. We weren’t ready to be grandparents then. That’s a job you have to grow into, little by little as the gray begins slipping into your hair and the wrinkles come and sit down on your face and settle in to stay instead of just passing by after a smile or two. You understand things better – like the importance of playing hide-and-seek and how it doesn’t matter if part of your body is showing in the hiding place as long as your eyes aren’t. You know pushing a swing to send that little one up “high as the moon” is one of the most important things a person can do. You know what’s ahead. Maybe not exactly, but well enough to know that these early years are to be treasured and enjoyed and that for grandparents they are a bonus not to be wasted or lost in the busyness of life. They – those grandbabies – are life.
Hope you are enjoying life this week no matter where in the circle of life you are – beginning with your families or sitting back watching some sweet grandbabies. That’s what I did this weekend. Well, I can’t say I sat back and watched anything. I was running full tilt after them but it was good to see their eagerness for the journey ahead. That’s what I want to catch from them – for myself and for my characters. Eagerness for the journey ahead.