"Grammy, this is hard," my youngest granddaughter said as she sat doing her homework.
"Yours isn't as hard as mine is," her older sister quickly tossed back.
"Okay, listen up you two," I said. Both girls looked at me probably wondering what boring thing I would say next. It might be boring, but at least I had their attention.
"We aren't quitters," I began. "You expect too little of yourselves."
I knew my time of 'attention keeping' was short. I knew that I needed to keep it simple.
"Do you know what I mean by genes?" I went on to explain that we all carry talents and gifts through our genes. We have the power to do things we may not realize, but we need to try. It's fun to try.
Our family history tells us about who we are, what we can do. Investigating our past can make our present richer.
"We have had family members who were actors, singers, artists, musicians, writers. You have those gifts from both sides of our family."
The girls' blank looks told the story.
"Let me put it another way. I knew I could sing. I knew I could act. I knew I could write. I didn't know that I could draw until this year. We don't know what we can do unless we try."
"Does that mean that I can do that?" asked Gabby.
"Honey, we already know that you can paint and draw. You can both write. You both have gifts just like the other members of our family had long ago. There are things you can do that you haven't discovered yet."
I had their attention. I went on to explain that by learning, they will find those talents. By trying, they will find their gifts. Learning is exciting and fun even if it is hard at times.
My time had run out. The girls tackled their homework with new energy. It could be because I inspired them or that they just wanted me to shut up, but every day since, the same enthusiasm for their work is there.
So I'm in my sixties and a grandma. I am trying on my gifts as well. I want to be an example for my grandchildren. I want to inspire them to say, "I can." I wonder what I will try next.
We are a treasure trove. The treasure will remain hidden unless we turn the key and open the chest. There is no failure only adventure. Let's take our grandchildren on a treasure hunt.