Thursday, June 2, 2016

Unexpected Opportunities

I met Dillon, my first grandchild, when he was just a week old. As we snuggled back to sleep together in the recliner after a 3 a.m. feeding, we came to an agreement: I would try to help him embrace the values passed down through the generations in our family and he would teach me how to be a grandmother. In the past twelve years I’ve watched him begin to live out the family values he’s seen modeled at his home and ours: respect for self and others, trustworthiness and honesty, the rewards of hard work, compassion for and service to those less fortunate, appreciation for the environment, and the importance of using good manners.

In return, as we’ve played games and hiked and camped and cooked together he has taught me so many great things about being a grandmother. To name just a few, I’ve learned that gingerbread houses don’t have to be architecturally perfect; it’s all about the icing and candy. If you really want to play basketball or football, ask Pops. Kids sometimes have a better eye for pictures than grandmothers. You’re never too old to try a zip line. Back to school shopping and enjoying a day at Silver Beach are perfect ways to celebrate the end of summer. Boys like to get daily, goofy email jokes to share with friends at camp. And, finally, being asked to write a paragraph for your twelve year old grandson’s autobiography opens the door wide to tell him how much he’s loved without having to subject him to embarrassing hugs and kisses.