The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Enjoying Growing Older

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I did something for Caleb that I swore never to do for anyone. I kissed his feet. The little guy tripped and fell flat on his face. He pointed to his knee and foot. “Come here, and I’ll kiss it,” I said. He brought his knee to my lips, held up one foot and then the other. All better with just a kiss. Then he pulled all the cushions from the sofa to the floor making a soft landing for his surprise bouncing header. He looked at me puckering up his face; then he found an M&M under the sofa and popped it in his mouth.

He climbs; he jumps; he bounces; he hops; he moves the furniture to reach higher; he plays in the toilet water; he opens the refrigerator; he talks loud to drown out my conversations with my daughter; he walks on the edges of curves; he pushes my hand away as we walk as a sign of growing independence; ; he stops to pick up stones; he charms strangers bringing smiles and waves. He is our little family ambassador.

His sounds turned from gibberish to words to short sentences now. How do children learn words and meanings and make connections? Sorry,” my grandson said as he bumped into me. He used the word appropriately. It is a word that can mean everything. I’m delighted to hear his “Thank you”. He says ‘God Bless You’ to a sneeze, even to strangers and to the fake ones we make to hear “God Bless You”. As Cary was leaving a few nights ago, he called out “Love you.” He would not repeat it despite our prodding. The next night as he and Cary were leaving, I said “Love you honey”. He called back “Love you honey.” Can any words mean so much?

So when he says ‘I like it’ or ‘Awesome’ or ‘It’s delicious’ or ‘It’s yummy’ we are captivated by cuteness. When he says “I happy”, we hope he is. When he says “I did it” we are as proud as he is. I hope he never stops sharing with us or talking to us.

 I have forgotten my own kids’ development at his age. I wonder now if I got as much enjoyment from watching them grow as I get now from watching my grandchildren grow and learn. I wish I could remember it. If only we had the cell phone to record videos to watch 20 or 30 years later. If only I had kept a diary of their development and milestones. If only I had at least kept that baby book everyone gets for a shower gift and then forgets to record in.

2 Comments

  1. Barb, I believe, as a grandparent, we get much more enjoyment seeing our grandchildren do things as they are growing and learning to do so many new things. I think we were too busy worrying about our own children getting hurt, making food for them and watching them and taking care of them in a different way than our grandchildren, We had full responsibility for our children where with grandchildren we have only partial responsibility. There is nothing on the face of the earth that could ever take the place of our beautiful, irreplaceable grandchildren. I can relate to what you wrote. Enjoy every minute you can with them because they grow up so fast. I still enjoy my grandchildren but as they get older you do worry and want everything to be just perfect for them and we all know that is impossible.

    • I think you are right. I was wrapped up in all the daily responsibilities when they were small to really enjoy playing with them, and I know things grandchildren do seem much less irritating than when our own children did them. We have so much more patience and easy-going manner with them. We can be grateful too that we have them nearby us to see them so often. This time will be precious.

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