Last month I wrote about things grandparents could teach their grandchildren. In watching and listening to my grandchildren, I found there are lessons I could learn from them, as well. They are things we all knew at one time or another, but as we matured, some fell by the wayside.
Imagination – I love listening or joining in when my grandkids play. Whether it is with their abundance of toys or a character they create, they engage in wonderful scenarios that may or may not make total sense to an adult, but work fine for them. How wonderful to let your mind go in a sometimes silly direction and enter into a fun fantasy world where there is always a happy ending?
Making Friends – Children, even shy ones, find a friend in just about any situation. My five-year-old granddaughter doesn’t understand the concept of a stranger when it comes to children she encounters. One day, while eating lunch at a restaurant, she met a girl who was eating with her mom and brother. While the adults and siblings finished eating, the two girls sat in a comfy chair near the tables and read a book together. As we left, my granddaughter proclaimed she had a new friend. Of course, she would probably never see her again, but no matter, for a short time, she had made a new friend. And, you can never have too many.
Patience– As an adult, when faced with most any task we undertake, we can lose patience when it takes longer than we think it should. Children do not seem to pay attention to a ticking clock. Putting a puzzle together does not need the edges put together first. Legos may take several tries before they stay together. Playing a game may include several starts and stops. Eating is not a timed event. Being patient is an important lesson, and being with children reminds us of this.
Self-Reliance – As soon as children are able, they want to try to do things for themselves. Seeing their faces light up at each new accomplishment reminds us of the pride one feels when learning a new skill. Use their determination as an example. Staying active mentally and physically should be a lifelong pursuit.
Unbridled Joy – It is impossible not to laugh or at least smile when you hear a child laugh with utter abandonment. From the ridiculous to the sublime, finding such joy in life is a gift we, as adults, all too often forget.
Unconditional Love – Children come into the world full of love – no judgment, no expectations. Having your grandchildren come running to you all smiles and laughter so happy to see you is simply the best. There is no better feeling than being loved. We need to remind ourselves of this.
As grandparents we have been on this earth long enough to see and hear things both good and bad. We have had experiences that bring us joy and sadness. We may have become hardened and cynical to the world around us or still hang on to a sense of optimism. Whatever our feelings, we pray for a world at peace, the best life possible for our grandchildren, and to remember the lessons these precious people taught us.