Three years ago a lovely little baby joined our family. Our first grand daughter and fourth grand child. From the start you could see a confidence in this little one that was astounding. Her mom was attending a University at the time of her birth and her dad was making a career change to also go to school.
They needed me. I wasn’t working at the time so I decided I could care for this little one. I was challenged. She wasn’t sure she really liked me. She hated having her diaper changed. After a few months we began to get along better. I really think she associated me with the fact that when her parents left her with me, that meant they were leaving. Her intelligence frightened me a little. But those big blue eyes (eyes of which I never experienced from my own brown/hazel eyed kids) fascinated me and kept winning me over, no matter how mad she was at me. She made me laugh.
We just celebrated her third birthday and she also has a little sister now who is six months old. As I have watched her grow into an amazing little girl – it causes me to reflect on my childhood. On my personality. I see similarities between her and I. I see a stubbornness that is familiar to me. I see an attitude that convicts my heart to soften my attitude towards others without giving up the strong person I have become.
For her birthday, I posted a picture on Facebook, along with a little conversation we had recently:
Me: Hey Lucy, let’s get dressed and I’ll take you out to ride your bike.
Me: Come on, don’t you want to ride your bike? Get your helmet.
Lu: No ride bike. Can I ride a horse (with big smile)?
Me: Horse? Well, how about a bike ride?
Lu: No bike – I want to ride a horse.
We share the same love of horses – but as a child I only experienced riding my bike – often (once I learned to ride it) - she has ridden a horse at least twice now in her young life. And she fell in love.
A good friend said of this little one: “It’s easy to imagine you as a child Cate!” I liked that my friend said that. But the truth is, I wasn’t that way as a child. I had different parents and different home life. I didn’t have some of the advantages that this little one has. Simply because it was a very different upbringing.
I had the imagination and an imaginary horse. I loved that horse. But I greatly lacked in the confidence this little shows at such a young age. As many arguments that we have (and yes, you can argue with a two year old) and the many time – outs she receives, I cannot help but love her so much that it makes me cry – good tears. I take it very seriously the task I have been handed to help care for and raise this little one.
I had no idea that when I accepted the challenge of caring for this lovely that I would be smitten. That, like the Grinch whose heart was two sizes too small, mine grew that day. It grew more and more at each argument – “Calm down, Mammy, just calm down” – and other similar occasions.
This little one taught me about love and encouragement and hope. Not only for her, but for myself and others. I can see that she travels to the beat of a different drum, so to speak. And that will be a challenge for her as she matures and goes off to school and other places where some may not understand her beat. I know this because I go through this. I did as a little child, and I was gently pushed into the corral and told to just obey and do as you’re told. I made it through childhood :D.
Parents, we have to know our children. It’s a day to day process as they grow into a child. We have to take the time to know their personality. You can have four children ad each one will be diversely different. We cannot grow them the same way. It’s work.
And grand parents, we can bring hope and love and encouragement to them like no other can. They aren’t ours to raise completely. but our wisdom and cookies can go a long way.
I thank God for my five grand children. Some I am closer to than others, but the love I have for them each is huge. I pray often for ways I can show them. Ways that I can help them.
I cannot walk in their shoes, but I can encourage them to find their own beat and walk in it!
Enjoy – one of my favorite singers -