Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A lot to learn

My mother made a statement that I have carried with me. She said it not long before she passed away. "It all went so fast." Yes, Mom, your words echo again and again. The twins turn one.

What have the twins learned in these twelve months? They have learned to lift their heads, turn over, crawl, stand and take first steps. They have learned to nurse, take a bottle, sip from a cup, eat from a spoon, pick up food and place it in their mouths, on the front of their shirts, on the floor and occasionally on me. They have gone from seeing a blurry view of the world to recognizing faces, watching squirrels scamper across the lawn, wave at passing cars. They have gone from tiny babies who could do no more than sleep and eat to wonderful toddlers who are constantly looking for adventure. A couple of tiny faces I kissed for the first time a year ago are now kissing me. One year has passed.

However, this is about more than babies learning. It is about the growing up of a grandma. I think perhaps that growing up is something we continue to do from birth until death. Oh, we do get set in our way, but in the last year, I've discovered that those ways can change. I am still growing up.

There is nothing gained by being stagnant. In fact, life is pretty boring. I began to notice how people, including myself, get their 'hackles' up when someone has an opposing opinion or makes a cutting comment.  Thus, I learned to step back and listen then decide if I need to make a comment or just appreciate that we are all different. Sometimes it is hard to step away instead of defend yourself. Now I step away and consider myself the winner. We are all different. I learned that I can have more energy despite my 'advanced years'. All it take is saying that I can instead of I can't. I have learned to watch and observe instead of being so busy that I miss what is important. I have learned that it is smarter to wait until someone asks for an opinion rather than dive in where my opinion is not needed. I have learned to let a baby fall on his or her bottom instead of always catching said bottom. I have learned that the best baby kisses come when least expected instead of saying, "Gotta a kiss for Grammy?" I have learned that spending quiet time with people is as important as conversation.

This last year has certainly been a busy one. Babysitting, working, spending time with family and friends. Time flies. When I was in Indiana with my sister, I found that the quiet times of just the two of us were the best. For two girls who grew up seven years apart, we have developed a wonderful friendship. The little things we take for granted are indeed those pieces of life that can mean the most.

The babies are at the beginning of what will be many years to come of the "Happy Birthday" song. My grandbabies will not remember me as the grandma who crawled on the floor with them. The one who tickles their toes and nibbled on little fingers. They will not remember me singing "Jingle Bells" to them whenever they were upset. They will not remember my arms wrapped around them, holding them close, memorizing the feel and smell of sweet little babies. They will not remember. But I will remember the lessons I've learned from them. I will remember the sweetness of this time of grandchildren. I hear my mother's words over and over again.

Mom, I heard what you said and am not wasting a moment of this sweet life. Yes, it goes quickly, and I still have a lot to learn.