The most-darling-three-year-old-in-the-Universe, (my oldest granddaughter) is R-E-A-L-L-Y into princess stuff. Like, it’s a struggle for her mom to get her to change out of one of her (many) princess outfits if they need to go public somewhere, like to the grocery store.
Of course, then she got a mermaid bathing suit, and it’s been rough getting her out of that one, as in this recent chat with her mom:
“Don’t ever make proclamations about how you’ll parent or what your child/ren will do. That’s how you end up in a suburban bank with a 3-year-old mermaid perched on your hip.”
But, along with Pooh Bear, mermaids, and tea parties, the princess things still rank pretty high on her radar for now. And as with all things (grand)parenting, it give us great pleasure to follow those interests with her. What will develop next?Continue reading “Casting call: princesses and mermaids”
Sitting in in the cool morning air of a quiet Pacific Northwest morning, I hear a light tapping on the inside sliding glass door and turn to see our 6-month old granddaughter peering out to say good morning. That is to say, I think it’s my sleepy, blurry-eyed daughter tapping on the door hoping grandma is up for a morning snuggle session so mommy can go back for a brief morning nap.
Well, DUH. Pass the kid this way, puh-LEZE.
My daughter’s typical comment is, “Mom, I’m sorry to interrupt your quiet morning moment, but…”
Or then there are the times in the car, “Mom, I’m sorry for all the crying and screaming…”
Or, “Mom, sorry if you have to clean out the car seat, (or your jeans, or your shirt…etc.)”
There’s nothing but beauty when you look into the eyes of your own 6-month old child. It’s just that after a grueling 12-hour flight from overseas with the precious teething infant who has refused to sleep for the past several days, weeks, months, feels-like-years, you can barely see that beauty because your own eyes are having trouble focusing…
So after scooping up our youngest (and said precious one with precious but equally exhausted daddy) from the airport and gotten everyone tucked into bed at the nearby hotel for the night, Grandma got to babysit after the next morning’s breakfast so the young couple could try for a brief nap before the next leg of the family vacation.
At this age, Sweet One is not only still trying to figure out her own sleep schedule, but is also nine time zones away from home. She is intelligent, (W-A-Y above average, naturally), inquisitive, and most of all…
…awake. Very awake.
She and I are walking, talking, bouncing around the hotel, and looking, watching, and then we start touching. I can almost see the synapses connecting. Different textures, different temperatures through tactile experience. But one item seemed to keep her attention.
It was the glass door.
She could see though it, but couldn’t see “it”. Her hand would pass easily through the nothingness of air until it came to the same seeming nothingness to her sight, although her hand would stop, suddenly. Interestingly, because she had no mental/emotional grid to process this, or a priori objections to the experience, she simply accepted it and moved on.
“Although I can’t see it, obviously something is there.”
I pray that this basic lesson will not be buried under layers of empty philosophy later in life.
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see…By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.”
Jesus affirmed a dimension more “real” than the one limited to human senses and experience. When I deny this, I deny myself the better part of my humanity and the potential expression of that reality:
I hazard myself (and others) to “be all that I can be” based solely on my limited self-concept, rather than the one for which I was uniquely designed.
I view situations through a lens of temporary, rather than eternal consequence.
My sense of peace and contentment will be linked to my personal sense of control, (and even a brief survey of history or a quick look at the news should blow that one out of the water!)
We made it to our destination all in one piece after a long car ride (though which Sweet One slept almost all the way!) Everyone is still in bed as I look into the cool fog on this Pacific Northwest morning. I know the mountains are there, but the fog is in the way, just like the unseeable glass door was in the way the day before. God’s reality is in play all around us.
I’m writing this in Heathrow International, London, waiting on the last leg of our trip to Norway to see our second precious bundle in the form of a granddaughter. Naturally, I’m drinking English Breakfast Tea. My body doesn’t really know what time it is, although my watch says it’s going on 2PM here, which means it’s close to 8AM back home in the Show Me State, so I guess breakfast tea is still appropriate…somewhere. We had a few complications due to wind in Chicago, (also appropriate, if you know Chicago), as well as human and technological mishaps—such is international travel I am told—but compared to what could go wrong, these things are merely inconveniences. Continue reading “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go….(Yeah, it’s a old song)”
No, as the title might suggest, I haven’t been gone in some foreign country for two years.
At this writing, Bob and I just returned home from a week-long extended family vacation in Maine where we all stayed in a huge old house (older than my own, fancy that, and in many ways, reminiscent of…) The week prior we were superlatively blessed to have our two-year-old granddaughter and her mommy (our eldest) with us before the four of us flew out to join our son-in-law and the rest of the crew.
Here’s what greeted me upon returning home from the airport this morning at 1:30AM…
It’s been about 30 years since I’ve had a toddler. I believe that one really doesn’t appreciate parents adequately until you have children of your own. Now, I’m thinking the same about the grandparenting experience, so here goes.
Open letter to my mom (now a great-grandparent several times over!):
Whenever we came to visit those, oh-so-many times, did you ever find yourself—
—cutting fresh peaches into small pieces for your own cereal?
—arguing with the Pack-n-Play about fitting back into the carrying case? (oh wait, you didn’t HAVE the convenience of Pack-n-Plays back then…!)
—Cleaning the oatmeal (or worse, as I remember…) from your Sunday outfit before church?
—locating a forgotten bag of (used) diapers upstairs after the house had been closed up for a week?
And did you start noticing how many horribly dangerous plastic bags there are in the world?? Sheesh, they’re EVERYWHERE!
Did you ever wonder if there is a heavenly equivalent to rocking your granddaughter to sleep on a patio with cool breezes gently blowing? (Or maybe that’s just a little piece of heaven that God allows for us to have down here.)
Hey, Mom, I continue to appreciate why you loved Erma Bombeck so much, with pearls of wisdom like,
“When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911”, and,
“Onion rings in the car cushions do not improve with time.”
I remember your wisdom as to why the knees always wore out in my long trousers, and now, thirty years later, how my knees just feel, well, worn out.
But one thing I know never wore out was, and continues to be, your prayers for us, a gift far too precious for adequate expressions of gratitude!
Mom, it’s not technically Mothers’ Day, but we would have no days at all without you. Thank you for teaching me to be a mother, and now teaching me how to be a grandmother.
I think it’s time to start ordering my own library of Bombeck classics. In fact, it’s on my “to-do” list for today, along with laundry, and picking up the dog from the vet, and cleaning the car…
(nah, just wait until the fragrance makes itself known a little more, right?)