Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let's Talk

My old computer went to the great computer cemetery in Best Buy. After being drawn to a new, faster computer, one that would not be so hard on my hands, I found that all of the information that was to be downloaded was missing. Long story short: For 3 days I’ve been trying to get my computer set up with all of my files in residence. Downside: Computer is faster than the user. A new learning curve.

Also, the following is necessary dribble about future missing blog days: I am having 3 hand surgeries this year. The first will be next Monday. I am going to see how I am feeling so forgive me if I miss days of writing. Believe me, I miss it as much as maybe you do. I will be using my left hand as much as possible to keep up. So please be patient. I will do my best to stay on target and on my blog.

How was school today? So how is your book? Do you want to make a project, too? Is everything okay with Addy today?

Dialogue. Communication. What do we do to keep doors open? It doesn’t begin when children are teenagers. We give up a piece of us when we have children. We give up a piece of us in order to maintain who we are and who our children will become. I didn’t do well with this when I was a young mother. I was too caught up in my own happiness and needs. I forgot the best of me. I forgot the commitment I made to be the best mom and to give my all to my children….they were just children.

Each day I pick my granddaughters up from school, I put myself aside and listen. I know that Addy and Gabby had a disagreement earlier in the week. Gabby was sad, but on this day, when I bring it up, she is eager to tell me that they are once more friends. She rambles and I listen. The ramblings are more than stories, they are her feelings, her observations, a sharing that is essential for a good relationship and a healthy child. I put away my thoughts of what I have to do yet this day, all my worries about money and health, a house to clean, an errand to run, the list goes on. For a brief bit of time, I will be with these children before they go off on their own. I owe it to them and me to make the best of it.

Syd tells me about her new book. She is excited by the author and ready to write her book report. “You can read the book, Grammy”. She isn’t just asking me if I want to, she is offering me a chance to communicate. A simple request becomes another step forward in our relationship. I will read it so I know what she likes, to talk over the book, to grow in our communication adult and child.

We took a walk. Syd and Heather, a friend, ran ahead. Gabby and I talked of flowers peeking out from the winter earth and her friend’s chickens. Out of the blue, “I love you, Grammy.” Oh, if she only knew what those words meant to me and how I will cherish them. Our communication goes both ways.

Syd decided to scrape a large stick to use in a project. She tried using another stick, but it did not work. I could not give her knife, too risky. So I pulled out one of my father’s Indian scrapers. I figured if it worked for them, it should work for her. “Grams, will you come keep me company in garage while I scrape the stick.” Ah, she asked for my company. Another sign that communication and companionship are healthy. She knew that I would go because she knew I listened and cared.

Communication often is something we see, not hear. It is done by watching the children, listening with our eyes as well as our ears. A comment about something ordinary can also be a need to talk about what is left unsaid. We have good relationship, these girls and I. A similar one I failed to understand when I was in my 30’s and 40’s. There is nothing or anyone who should stand between a child and parent. No time, no space, no business that cannot wait. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children and my grandchildren. It is never too late to learn. I’m getting better at it.

“Grammy, Hannah got pushed out of wall ball from her group. I told her to go back and stand up for herself.” Lessons are learned…..we are the teachers. “Gabby, I’m so proud of you.”

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