I promise not every post will be about grandkids, but that's where I begin—with a recent heart-melting moment while playing with my 3-year-old granddaughter, Sara Jolie, in the backyard. She sat down on the grass by the border of small river rocks surrounding the patio and began stacking rocks on the cement, so I joined her. Sara suggested (nay, commanded) that we have a cooking show. Here's how it went, over the course of about 15 shows:
Sara: "Nana, start the show."That ended the scripted portion of the show. We then ad-libbed comments as we made each cake. Mine were layer cakes (an example of which I re-created for the site image above) and Sara's were dump cakes. As she sprinkled bits of dirt on top of the pile, she would explain to the audience that she was adding chocolate sprinkles. A round white rock became a marshmallow on top.
Me: "Hello and welcome to Cooking with Nana and Sara."
Sara: "Today, we're making rock cakes. Let's get started!"
During what was maybe the 10th show, Sara said, "I love playing with you, Nana." And there it was. A jewel of a moment. One that I paused to savor before replying that I loved playing with her too. At that point, I would have done 50 shows if Sara wanted to. However, the flexibility and elasticity of a child's body left mine many years ago, and my back started aching. After several more shows, I had to get up and move around, so I did a little rescripting:
Sara: "Nana, start the show."I lumbered to my feet and began imitating a ballerina (one who has no balance, muscles, or musicality). Sara leaped up, giggling and totally out-dancing me. For subsequent shows, she said the line, "But first, we dance!" So we never got around to making any more rock cakes and our cooking show went on hiatus. We then took turns performing songs so the other one could applaud and shout, "Bravo!" (I figured Sara was too young for a discussion on brava being the feminine form of bravo.)
Me: "Hello and welcome to Cooking with Nana and Sara. But first, we dance!"
There's such great reward in giving a child undivided attention. Sure, it's easy for a grandparent who has the luxury of play visits, but I'll admit that I don't do nearly as well when I have more than one grandkid over at the same time. Although it's much more difficult for busy parents, they and their children can benefit greatly with just a few minutes of undivided attention each day. I wish I had taken more time to enjoy Sara's mom when she was my little girl.
|Sara (aka "Sassy") in my mom's backyard|