Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cartwheeling Grandma

"Come on, Grams. Do a cartwheel," my granddaughter yelled.

I'm amazed that a girl who once cartwheeled herself across the lawn can no longer figure out how in the heck she will get her 63 year-old bottom side up in the air with legs straight, landing on her feet on the way down. Hm. It just isn't going to happen.

"Come on, Grams!"

I wonder when my cartwheeling ended..... Sitting on the floor, chasing kids playing tag, rolling down hills. When did it end? Well, one thing I know for sure, my lower half will not be above my head ever again. The flexibility is gone. The enthusiasm to try is gone. The grace and speed of a younger me running around the ball diamond is definitely gone.

How I would love to have that energy once more so I could romp and play with these granddaughters of mine, but it is as it should be. Maybe we grandparents are not to be the participants but the observers, the team cheering on the antics of the little ones. Maybe it is more important that we don't end up in a cast from a broken limb. Maybe, just maybe, we are doing exactly what we are supposed to do.

I miss my child. I miss that little girl who felt the breeze in her face when she ran across the field. I miss that little girl who climbed up in the barn and swung across to the other side. I miss those things that make childhood so precious, so fun.

It is a winding down we do as we grow older and, yet, a winding up at the same time. What I have lost in flexibility, in that little girl energy, I have gained in observance, tolerance and joy. I have learned from the past taking into this time as a grandma the learning from my mistakes and my successes. I have become more flexible in other ways, in thought, in patience, in understanding.

When I became a grandma, I discovered a new me, a woman who could change and learn and maybe do a bit better this time around. I discovered that a new life came for the child as well as for me. I discovered that the little girl inside of me could still laugh and play....just can't do cartwheels.

"Come on, Grams!"

"You're doing so well. I just want to watch beautiful you." And I do.


  1. My most embarrassing moment recently was at the pool. I hauled myself out of the water fairly easily, but the only way I could reach a standing position from that point was to flip over on all fours and push myself up. I remember the days when I could stand up from sitting Indian style. I don't miss cartwheels, but I do miss being able to stand up without having to haul myself around.