Thursday, June 11, 2015

What is a grandma?

We sat on the beach towel under the tree in the backyard. The only patch of shade. Naps were over. Snack was eaten. Awake and lively, my job was at hand. So what does a grandma do? What are her responsibilities? From where does she pull her knowledge on how to entertain twins almost-three-year-olds.

I never babysat when I was young. Little kids made me nervous. My mom babysat for everyone and didn't have time for her own kids. I raised my kids by the book (literally) and by the seat of my pants. They were indeed the test field for what little knowledge I had accumulated over my 25 years of life.

So now I have been through two older granddaughters ages 13 and 16. I loved my time with them and was busy learning what it is to be a grandma. Throughout those years, the girls raised me well. Now here I am with two little ones. Different parents. Different rules. I seem to be the only constant in this journey into children.

We blew bubbles most of the morning and into the afternoon. The kids tired of it, but I was on a roll. I could blow bubbles larger than their heads. I watched the progress of each enormous globe until it drifted out of view or rain down soapy droplets. I seemed to be the only one fascinated with the marvel of wind and bubble. Emma decided that we needed a bit of make-believe. She feigned illness needing to sleep. Of course, Nolan followed suit. After about three seconds she popped up and informed me that she felt better but not completely (of course) while Nolan just played along. We had make-believe breakfast then nap. Make-believe breakfast, lunch and snack. They loved it. I wanted to go back to blowing bubbles, but Emma and Nolan wanted to continue. It was time of interaction.

So what were we learning from this? I discovered that I had no power over what we were playing. I discovered that the children's make-believe is completely based on life events. Emma knew her illness dialogue as well as that she heard from her parents. I learned that Nolan followed everything his sister did and loved it. Most of all, I learned that by participating in this game of sleep and eat, they understood that MeMe had an imagination and could be part of their play. I could introduce new ideas and thoughts, and they were encouraged to express themselves. Creativity poured out of the little imaginations, and I met them there.

What is a grandma? She is a person who observes and creates means of teaching. She is creative and open to giving by putting herself aside. (I still wanted to blow bubbles.) She is always aware when doors open, creating a means of communication.

Each time the twins and I go into the yard, we check out the plants. Yesterday we gather (two each, of course) roses, jasmine, daphne and honeysuckles. They smelled each. Nolan opened an unopened flower from the honeysuckle blooms. We talked about the parts of the plants and looked at the bud compared to the full bloom. These twins are young yet took it all in. How much more can I teach them? It is an exciting time.

I am still growing as a grandma. I teach. They teach. I learn. They learn. We all benefit from this relationship. I think perhaps they will be better adults because of this time we spend together. Perhaps they will always seek to be creative and to learn about the world around them. I would like to think I do my job well.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I was wondering, my grandfather mentioned that someone with the last name Drake made a four wheel buggy with two seats on it sometime around 1960s and wondered if that's your husband or someone you're related to. He regularly reads the Daily Advocate and wanted me to reach you. Thanks