I missed my childhood. I went from playing with dolls to taking care of kids-my siblings, and sometimes even my cousins. Then one day I turned around and I was an adult. And as I grew up, I felt like part of me was missing. The playful carefree part, a real necessary part.
But I’ve come to find that grandchildren give you a second chance, a chance to be young again; to see the world through younger eyes. Grandchildren give you permission to be silly. It’s actually a pre-requisite to being a grandparent; to take life lightly.
I went to my first 3D movie a few months ago. I donned the goofy glasses, anticipating a magical experience. And I can honestly tell you I was not disappointed. I felt I didn’t just watch a movie, I participated in it. The colorful characters seemed to reach out and bring us into their world, at least for a little while. I had fun; pure unadulterated fun. I laughed out loud without reservation. Even now when I think of that movie, I have to smile.
Life is serious, and with all it’s bumps and bruises, life hurts. Sometimes a lot. But, it’s nice to know that life doesn’t have to be 100% serious. We can take a break now and then, and listen to little voices as they get excited about the normal things, like a sparrow eating little bits of bread, or an ant scurrying off to join his ant friends. We can be kids just for a few moments.
When I hear a child laugh I feel fed. It seeps into some of the hard places inside me and softens me, making me more pliable so I can enjoy the moment. It enables me to unwind a little, so I don’t break with the next adult thing that happens.
When I read to one of my grandsons, for those moments I am a child again, listening to each line with wonderment. And it doesn’t matter how many times I hear the story, each time is special. I watch their cues carefully; when I see a smile crossing their peanut butter faces, I get ready to smile, to join them in the moment.
Me and my grandsons play a laughing game. We just start laughing as hard as we can, not a “tee hee,” but a full belly laugh. The object of the game is to get others to laugh. It’s not hard with these two little ones. They know how to play the game well. And before I know it I am right there with them, laughing it up. Then I forget the gray things in life and I am smiling in full color, happy, really happy.
I’m thankful. Thankful I get a second chance to be a kid. To smile, laugh and play again. Thanks God, thanks for grandchildren.