Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Speaking Grandchild

"Grammy, I told everyone in my class that Mommy would make one for them, too," Gabby informed me.

Hm. This could be a problem. Mommy knits. Her work is fun and wonderful. For her birthday, Gabby received a rather abstract looking elephant from her mother. a design that Gabby chose herself. The next day the 'little princess' elephant went to school with her peeking out of her backpack.

Stacey tries to keep up with requests for her work from friends and co-workers. Sydney's friends ask for a stuffed animal for their birthdays. In the last three weeks, two bunnies, a purple elephant, a big cat, a penguin have been started and completed. A frog and cat are the next projects on the list. I don't think I'll tell her that I want one of each.

I don't know if my daughter realizes that her children are very proud of her. They show off her work to friends, family and classmates. The animals sleep with them, sit on their beds, watch TV with them and accompany them when they feel sad. Their friends' requests for these stuffed toys give the children even more pride in their mom.

Silent messages. Messages that come in the form of an action or in a comment overheard. Messages that come with an elephant looking out from a backpack or a friend opening a handmade present beaming with delight.

Sometimes I forget to look for these messages until one stares me in the face. I forget to look instead of listen. A parent yelling support for their child at a soccer game tells the child that the parent is watching and proud of them. A parent watching a child go to the door of a house in a silly costume, tells the child that a parent enjoys being with them. Setting aside a project, turning of a computer or TV, putting aside oneself tells children that they are the most important thing in a parent's world. We forget the messages that we send. What are our silent messages? Kids know the language of these actions.

I've develop this language understanding as I age. Didn't know I could speak it, but I am becoming more and more proficient in it. I'm amazed that I can understand it having not a very good understanding in my younger years. The language isn't difficult. It takes a bit more observation, but this language of awareness has taught me more about life than this English language I speak. I had to learn to interpret this language. I had to train myself to listen to the way each child speaks the language. The language sometimes has no words, only actions. Sometimes the words mean more than what they represent. I can speak a little Spanish, say random words in French. Maybe one of my best spoken languages will be Grandchild.

"Gabby, I don't think Mommy will be able to make elephants for all of your classmates," I explain to my granddaughter. "Mommy doesn't have time to make so many since she works. She only makes them for friends and family. I know she would like to, but she has so many to make already."

"I didn't tell everyone. She could only make them for some of them."

A proud daughter who wants to fill the world with purple elephants....those made by HER mommy.

A hidden language spoken....a grandma listens and understands.

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