Saturday, January 26, 2013

Conversation with the Twins

The babies laid on the play mat. I wanted so to hold both of them. At six months the job is impossible when alone. A wave of sadness washed over me. They may be six months old, but I am going to be sixty-six this year. When they are going on with their lives, I will be a very old grammy. It is evident now that the energy I had with my older granddaughters is less. I feel my age more and more.  I can fight the clock, but it will win in the end.

So as the babies laid there playing beneath their dangling toys, I told them how much I love them. I told them about Neff Road and their cousins. I told them about my dreams for them. I told them that I will try my best to keep up with them and their lives. I told them that my love for them would last for eternity, that I would always watch over them.

Tiny hands with palms as soft as silk. Little toes lined up like a string of pearls. I try to absorb each moment knowing that each will pass too quickly. I hope that somewhere in there little brains they imprint the woman I am now. I know that I have time ahead to make our relationships grow. Still these moments will be gone.

Life goes on. Those of us who are grandparents realize just how quickly it goes. Our families can't possibly know how much they mean to us. They can't possibly know that each smile, each touch, each sharing of our days is embedded in that place called heart. Truly I believe that when I am with my grandchildren, I am also with God. For my heart swells with a love that can only be given to me by a higher power.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Inner Barometer

Revelations come at the strangest times. Mine usually happen while I'm driving. Something happens that niggles in my brain. I'm not sure why it is hanging around, but evidently my brain refuses to give it up. So why not embrace it and check it out, which is what I do in the car.

My friend and I had a conversation about the problem with the Java download on computers. I heard a program on NPR that said that the Department of Homeland Security was asking people to remove Java from their computers. I went online to check it out. ( Sure enough, it was true. When I told my friend, she flared up that it couldn't be true. Why she had just downloaded the newest version! She flew into this angry snit. When she had the snit, I got that clenching feeling in my stomach.

So while driving my car, I began analyzing this entire conversation fraught with feelings. First of all, I've come to understand that my body relays messages all the time. I don't always listen to them, but as I age, I know that I need to pay more attention. Her posturing and her comment immediately put my body into a "there's a problem" mode. I knew her reaction and words were not right by the way I felt. I didn't like her reaction. It put me on the defense as well as made me feel that she had just shot me down. I was casually mentioning something that I thought I should pass on, and she rebuffed it vehemently. So what was driving her response? My dear friend does not like to be told that something is different to her thinking. Instead of listening and having conversation, she goes into defensive mode. For some reason, she cannot see what she does to herself and others. She has a son who is difficult to handle...he is the shadow of his mother.

I know that a time will come when my friend and I can talk about it. Obviously, conversation and differences of opinions are something she needs to embrace. It is the only way we can learn and grow. Yet I see this same protective wall go up all around me by leaders and followers. That protective wall that wraps around a person and doesn't allow for growth and change. Sometimes I think the older generation is so steeped in opinion that new ideas, different ways of looking at things, become those things that separate people.

I wondered how my friend felt when she protested. I think perhaps she had that same clenching going on. But instead of just talking about it, she attacked it. Conversation, debate, change, cooperation. We are examples for others. We are the mirror of the past that made us who we are. For our families, we can become the future through peace and understanding. We don't all need to agree, but we certainly need to learn to care about one another enough to listen.

My inner barometer is usually right on. Wish I had learned to listened to it long ago.

Monday, January 14, 2013

On Thin Ice

My first skates were double bladed. Sturdy skates that would keep me upright on the ice. I learned to shuffles the skates back and forth not moving much at first then finally moving forward bit by bit. When I was a little older, I graduated to shoe skates. Each winter it took a little time for me to get that balance back and to race around the ice. A balancing act.

I learned a lot during those years of growing up on the ice back in the gravel pit on my grandfather's farm. I learned that I could fall and get up again. I learned to overcome my fear of being hurt. I learned that it took time to strengthen my wobbly ankles. I learned to beware of thin ice.

Our lives are full of life lessons. Learning to take steps is much like learning to ice skate. Learning to get up from failure and to find our footing again is something we deal with our entire lives. We learn. We do learn. In our learning, we find that we can help others through their similar struggles.

As a grandparent, I've learned that I might have the knowledge, but I do not need to be the answers. Our children and grandchildren are the skaters. They need to learn how to move forward, how to stand on their own two feet. They need to learn to fall and get up again.

I grew up learning how to fall down and how to get up once more. What have I learned? I learned that in dealing with my family I need to beware of thin ice.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Sharing Place

A Grandparent's Voice is for all ages. It is a place where I just talk about my concerns and observations hoping that perhaps I can help you, too, in your life. If you have something you would like to talk about, please make a comment or email me. Our world gets smaller all the time. You are my neighbor. I think that together we can move forward and make this old world better for everyone. So please, contact me and get the conversations going. No one can track you on this blog site. You do not need to add a name. In fact, it is a good time to make up a fun name.

Welcome to my neighborhood. Remember that it is yours, too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Crying my heart out

Schedules. Babies need to be on schedules, especially when there are two. Man oh man, this sleep training sucks!!! I know it does not hurt them to cry. I know that they are okay. I know that they need to get on track, so they get enough sleep and enough quality play time. But in the meantime, they cry....they cry my heart out.

I truly believe that crying creates one of the strongest ties between parents and children. We find out how much we love the children when our hearts pour out to those big wet tears. I peek in at them. No one is tangled in the crib or has a face buried into the mattress. So why is this so difficult. It isn't the sound that bothers me as much as the urge for me to want to make it all right. I know in training them I am doing it the right way. Yet, it is heart wrenching.

The training never stops, does it. I think perhaps it is not just the training of the child but of the parents as well (and grandparents). When our adult children go through rough times, our hearts still break. We still carry that same yearning to make it better. We still want to dry tears and make the sadness go away. Yet we stand by and hope they will survive their hard times.

When I began this article, two babies were crying. They have not been napping as long as they need to. One hour was behind them. I was determined to get the second as well. At the end of the last paragraph, both babies went back to sleep. So we had success.

They cry my heart out. It flies to them each time a tear drop falls.

Check out my blog On Neff Road to read about The Death of Galoshes.