When my grandchildren were younger, I turned my home into a summer camp for them. Now most are grown and too busy with their own, big kid activities. It’s kind of sad, but it’s all part of life. It just happens, but I’ve got photos to remind me of the fun we had.
One year, my son’s two children came down from Seattle. Brooklyn was eleven and Jackie was eight. When they arrived, Brooklyn was especially clingy. She wanted to be hugged a lot and often a hug would last a minute or two. I knew the reason; she’d been away at a soccer camp the week before and her mom was with her just one night and then they came here for the week. Jack didn’t go to camp, so he had been with his mom and dad and wasn’t in the least clingy.
It was interesting for me to work with Brooklyn’s “neediness.” I found that if I dropped everything when a hug was needed and I let her break the hug when she was ready, the hugs got shorter and shorter as time went on. I felt like a gas station and she was my constant customer, needing another fill up.
What was fascinating to me was that when Brooklyn got my full attention on her time terms, she was then happy to go do all the things an eleven year old loves to do. It made me wonder how children who don’t get a lot of one-on-one time with their parents deal with that lack of attention.
I admit we grandmas have the luxury of dropping everything and just being with our grandchildren and of course we have the privilege of SOG (Spoiling Our Grandchildren). The list of activities at Camp Grandma would make the social director on a cruise ship green with envy. We hiked, picnicked, swam in the river, caught crawdads and let them go, picked wild blackberries and made a pie, had fresh Chinook salmon at our neighbor’s home, rode bikes, read for quiet time and watched zero television the whole week (a real change for these two).
Two milestones: Brooklyn learned to sew (she made a pillowcase thanks to Gail Stone who sent me this wonderful link to a tutorial. Brooklyn had a friend over and we went to a fabric store and they picked out fabric and made a pillowcase to take home as a Camp Grandma souvenir.
The other milestone, Jack learned to ride a bike.
Do you sometimes feel like a gas station?
So, Miss Gas Station, make sure your tank is filled up so your children can get filled up when they need to. I discovered through years of meditation and prayer that whenever I get needy and think I need something outside of myself, if I take a minute or two and spend some time re-filling from my own, God-given reservoir of love, I cease to look for that love outside of myself. Someone said, the only reason we want anything is that we think it’ll make us feel better. We can feel better by just basking in our own ability to nurture ourselves. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that we can tap into an inner source of love that is eternal. Here’s a prayer I wrote that has always helped me to refill my tank.
I am in a peaceful loving place. All the love I can experience is mine right now. All I have to do is be open and alert to accept this love that is mine. I let go of worry and fuss. I’m steadfast in refusing to listen to negative thoughts, especially from myself and from others who sabotage this promise of love God has made to me. I declare that peace and love grace this house with its soothing presence. In this moment, love rushes to me, enough to share with my family, my community, and my world. I’m not alone. My Creator is always mighty in the midst of me. I love who I am, and I accept Divine love which always has and always will meet my every need. My love can never be denied me because my source of love comes from God, the indwelling essence of my life.
All is well, my dear. Take care of yourself today and thank you for reading my Young@Heart.