Friday, January 28, 2011

Child Play

Since I am a 53 year old who has already raised her family, some younger mothers might think that my input into those mothers’ bulletin boards and baby-centered Facebook groups is not really up-to-date, and therefore irrelevant.

To that I would have to respond with "not so fast!".

You see, though I am of an age where most of my peers are suffering from (or enjoying) an empty nest, mine has never been fuller. To understand this statement one must only observe the goings on at my house on any given weekday when any combinations of 5 grandchildren – all under the age of 5 - attend “Nana’s Day School”. This puts me very much into the ‘know’ on potty training, car seats, and toddler tantrums to name just a few issues. Although it can become quite a circus at times, this situation also affords me the luxury of a ‘do-over’ when it comes to raising a brood. The value of sticky hugs and kisses as well as tender ‘I love you’s’ cannot begin to be measured and since I am also the God-mother to each one of these precious babies, I can pass on my Faith, which has become more mature and rounded…at least I would hope.

There is also an endless supply of comedy, to which my Facebook friends can attest. For this posting I thought I might share a few tidbits that have just transpired in the past couple of days.

‘Nana, will you color with us?’, spoken by my 2 two-year-old kiddies, Simon and Sarah. ‘And can we lay on the floor with our crayons and coloring books?’

I was in a benevolent mood and decided to humor them so we lay down on our bellies and colored for a few minutes. Sarah soon became bored and decided to sit on my back. As she observed Simon’s coloring from her perch she went on to try something new…sliding down my back. I instantly became the Nana Bouncy Slide and the fun began.

‘Simon, Nana is a Bouncy Slide, do you wanna join me?’, said Sarah.

Of course the obvious answer was ‘yes’ and so the next 20 or so minutes involved me alternately receiving a very punishing workout and a massage from knees, elbows, and feet...I just continued to color. Gotta love those babies!

We have also set up our 3rd bedroom with a play kitchen complete with plastic appliances, table and stools and even a shopping cart full of wooden ‘food’ items and plastic cookware. Sarah and Simon have developed quite the ‘marriage’ and sound just like an old couple that has been together a bit too long.

‘Simon, you are my best boy. I love you!’, says Sarah. ‘What would you like for ‘dinnow’?’

‘Pork chops’, replies Simon as he ‘repairs’ her rocking horse with his plastic tool set.

Only five minutes later, if that, I hear, ‘Simon, I don’t love you at all!”

Guess the honeymoon is over ;-)

It is such a blessing to have so much contact with my babies. You never quite realize, when you are raising your own, how fleeting that time in your life will be. As you are immersed in dirty diapers, cooking, cleaning, and the other endless tasks that take your children from infancy to the ‘meet yourself coming and going’ rush of sports and high school, most parents don’t have time to think that this isn’t forever. Once that last hoop has been shot, the last pitch thrown, diplomas handed out and boxes packed you suddenly realize that maybe you didn’t savor enough. Perhaps you were stressed and rushed, dreaming of ‘tomorrow’…

Now I find that I have been blessed once more. I have a second chance at playing the role of stay-at-home-mom. This is a role that I was blessed to experience the first time and the repeat is equally grand (albeit a bit different). Being a Nana, just like being a Momma, is something that no one can quite prepare you for but it is what I have always had a strong calling to do. Do I get tired? Absolutely! Do I crave days to myself and a less hectic lifestyle? You betcha! But when it’s all said and done, I wouldn't have it any other way! I LOVE my babies – both grown and young!