Sunday, January 12, 2014

Conversations with my Granddaughter (10)


Little one, you are two years old now. Grampa has been thinking about what a blessing you are and how to put it into words when Grampa came across this quotation from another grandpa who appreciates his grandchildren. This grandpa’s name is Frederick Buechner and he is a writer of books. On the subject of grandchildren, Buechner writes,

To have grandchildren is not only to be given something but to be given something back.

You are given back something of your children's childhood all those years ago. You are given back something of what it was like to be a young parent. You are given back something of your own childhood even, as on creaking knees you get down on the floor to play tiddlywinks, or sing about Old MacDonald and his farm, or watch Saturday morning cartoons till you're cross-eyed.

It is not only your own genes that are part of your grandchildren but the genes of all sorts of people they never knew but who, through them, will play some part in times and places they never dreamed of. And of course along with your genes, they will also carry their memories of you into those times and places too—the afternoon you lay in the hammock with them watching the breezes blow, the face you made when one of them stuck out a tongue dyed Popsicle blue at you, the time you got a splinter out for one of them with the tweezers of your Swiss army knife.

 On some distant day they will hold grandchildren of their own with the same hands you once held them by as you searched the beach at low tide for Spanish gold. In the Meantime, they are the freshest and fairest you have. After you're gone, it is mainly because of them that the earth will not be as if you never walked on it. ~originally published in Beyond Words

Grandpa Buechner is a very wise man. Grampa loved his description of grandchildren because you embodied everything he writes about.

Two years ago when you first arrived, Grampa prayed for you in the hospital. Grampa’s prayer is a prayer of thanks as the Good Lord has given you as a gift to your parents and also to Grampa. Over the two years, you have helped Grampa to realize that you have not also given Grampa a gift of yourself but also additional bonus. The Bible states that children are gifts from God. And Grampa will add that they are bonus to grandparents.

Little one, you have given Grampa the bonus of reliving your Mummy’s childhood. Being first time parents, much of Grandma and Grampa's time is taken up to ensure that your Mummy ‘stay alive’. This may seem funny as your Grampa is supposed to be an expert on children’s health. But when it comes to your own child, there is no such thing as an expert. We were so busy with looking after her, and with our jobs that we did not realize how much of her childhood we have missed. Yes, we did celebrate the day she first walked, say her first word, and placing another mark on the wall to show how much she has grown. You, little one, has made Grampa aware that there are large chunks that Grampa have missed. Now that Grampa do not have to be involved in the day to day care of a growing child, Grampa have the privilege and luxury of observing and enjoying your growth; discovery of new skills, sense of wonder, and the innocent happiness of a child. Grampa cherish our making new memories together. Little one, you are indeed the ‘freshest and fairest’ Grampa have. And Grampa continue to thank God for you.




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