I have four grandchildren, three that I can hug, squeeze and kiss; and one that is home in heaven. I love them all dearly and believe they are God’s payback for my hair turning grey and my stamina diminishing. I had the great privilege of providing daycare for two of the three. This gave me a bond with them I hope will be everlasting. They are all in school now. Kile is eight and in second grade, Cavanaugh is five and in kindergarten, Lauren is four and attends preschool. Recently I made the decision to drive Kile and Cavanaugh to school two mornings a week and pick them up one afternoon. These snippets of time have been a gift to me. I have peeked into their young world, heard their concerns, shared their joy and listened to their belly laughs. I only wished Lauren lived close so I could have this time with her as well.
Each Wednesday afternoon I pick up Kile and Cavanaugh. We drive thirty minutes to my Cavanaugh’s dance class. As we travel the familiar road we play word or math games. Word rhymes and antonyms are two of their favorites. Their command of the English language blows me out of the water. After exhausting all of the real word combinations, we slide into extreme silliness. We also play spy games or ‘I am thinking about’ games. The hour of driving passes quickly each week and I relish the time spent with them.
I am the grandmother who creates things. The youngsters anticipate handmade or crafty items each birthday, Christmas and holiday. They also realize sometimes they are given a gift “just because I love you.” Last week I found a pair of coveted pajamas for my 8 year old grandson. I designed a sweatshirt for my 5 year old granddaughter and learned the art of rhinestone embellishment at the same time. They loved their items, but what I loved was their reactions, “What shall we make for Lauren?” Lauren is their cousin. She lives two hours away, and is best friends with Cavanaugh. “We can’t leave her out. You made me a sweatshirt and Kile got pajamas. Her favorite colors are pink and purple. Let’s make her a pink sweater with purple stripes
The past two days, Cavanaugh was unable to attend school and came to stay with me. She spent a good share of her time making something. The first item on her list of ‘must do’ was to create a sweater for her cousin, Lauren. Luckily I had a second hand pink sweater, just Lauren’s size. A pair of scissors, an imagination a cousin’s loving hands transformed the scraps into a design for the sweater. Cavanaugh was so pleased with her creation. As she cut and arranged I could her humming a tune with no name.
It definitely is better to give than to receive, at least in the eyes of my five year old granddauther. For me to witness her generosity is a gift that will warm my heart for many moons to come. And for this I give thanks for God, for allowing me to be a part of my grandchildren’s weekly lives.
“Thou shalt not covet they neighbors goods”. As I witnessed the attitude of my sweet Cavanaugh, I thought to myself, this is what this commandment means. It goes beyond longing for the things others have, but I must share my gifts and talents for the sheer joy of sharing.
We must become as little children to enter the kingdom of God. I want to hang around them more often. I have a lot to learn.