Say, “Thank you.” My mother urged as she gave me a little shove towards my California Grandma. “Uggg.” I silently protested as I completed the somber walk to a grandmother as strange to me as the new boy added to my 5th grade class.
“Thank you.” I muttered like a half wound plastic robot. Cleverly, I added a little lie to please her, “I love my new boots!”
She wasn’t pleased. Her words sweetly praised my sentiment but her eyes remained as cold as the stark midnight sky.
Hmmm … she wasn’t pleased. I wasn’t pleased. A ten year old in suburban Colorado had little use for outdated patten leather go-go boots. Within days, the shiny mod treasures were forever lost deep within my closet and my memories.
This gift and so many like it, illustrated the relationship I had … or didn’t have with my California grandmother. It wasn’t the distance from state to state, it was the distance in her heart. The feeling that grand-parenting was merely a duty.
Now I’m the grandma and I praise God I had two Colorado grandmas who taught me to knit, who sang songs, told stories, and lifted me to the counter to stir Christmas fudge.
I marvel at the blessing it is to see my children become parents. I rejoice at the opportunity to be a part a child’s life.
My heart and my life overflow with joy and thanksgiving, for now, I am the grandma … lifting tiny bodies to the counter to crack an egg … listening to each school triumph, and …., pausing to hear concerns and dreams.
Each Christmas and birthday I delight in seeing gift wrap fly about like sparrows swarming to feed their young. Each pile revealing carefully selected treasures and earnest gratitude.
Gratitude… as a heartfelt “Thank you Grandma for the pwesent you gived me.” The words ring in my ears while precious little arms wrap around my neck. This gift and so many like it illustrate this grandma’s love, as I praise God for allowing me this privilege.