Monday, April 11, 2011

Sitting on the Sidelines

"Grammy, sit right here," Gabby said. "You are my good luck."

I sat on the sofa next to her both of us cuddled up in a blanket. Mario was jumping up and down on the TV.

"Now don't be nervous, Grammy. It's okay."

Most of the time I zone out when the girls play the Wii. I can't play with my bum thumbs and the repetitive songs drive me crazy. Last week I decided that I was being passive. What was wrong with me anyway? So I sat down and watched her play her way through the landscape dodging one monster after another. I was amazed at her quick thinking and control. Before I knew it, I was hooked.

"Watch out!" someone yelled. Oh, it was me. Hm. Somehow I had been drawn into Mario's task as well.

"It's okay, Grammy. I'm right here."

How often are we passive to what is going on around us. It's not always fun to sit down and color, read a book, play a game, watch re-runs of Full House we had to watch when our kids grew up.

I was tucking my granddaughter into bed. "Grammy, you can get your book," Gabby said holding her bedtime literature. I grabbed my book and crawled next to her in her twin-size bed. Little reading was done on my part as Gabby chattered on about her book. Before new pages were ever turned, she was cuddled down and ready to sleep.

"Grammy, can you come up with me while I do my homework?" Sydney asked.

Without a second thought, I grabbed my computer and followed her up the stairs. With her books scattered across the bed, I found my corner. Soon long legs were propped up on mine. As needed, I helped with the homework. Time well spent sitting next to my granddaughter.

So many opportunities present themselves for that interaction with our families. When I grew up, no one took time to play with me. When my children grew up, I was buried in my own problems and the chaos of just being a mom. Now I'm a grandma and have one last chance to do better.

We all experience that dread when a child asks us to do something we really don't want to do. There is that negative feeling that pulls us into finding excuses, pushing child off to do something with someone else, offering TV or a movie or a video game instead of our time and involvement.

I have one last chance to do it better. I am honored to have opportunities to find new parts of myself. This doesn't just apply to children. It applies to all of those times we make excuses. Excuses that just might take away opportunity.

If you sit on the sidelines, you might as well get a stadium seat because it can be mighty hard sitting alone watching. As for me, I try to push back the negative and say, "Why not?"

"Grammy, if you get too nervous just close your eyes. I'm right here."

Does it get any better?

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