I was excited to spend 6 days with our precious granddaughter and grandson while their parents went to Mexico on a well-deserved vacation. Before retiring, I taught classrooms full of children, and eventually supervised 45 teachers who taught more classrooms full of children.
Two kids? Piece of cake! Right? Or did time erase old lessons learned?
Why didn’t I remember that you don’t put a kid in for a nap without reminding him to pee first? Why did I give that same kid a yogurt shake as he had breakfast in bed? Why didn’t I know that a 6-year-old fashionista couldn’t possibly wear her school shoes with sweatpants for a Saturday outing? Didn’t I know that she could discriminate between “real butter” and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” on the pasta? Why didn’t I remember to bring his miniature cars to daycare?
The challenges my errors brought me were worth the joy that filled me up as I was fully present with them. I allowed myself to relish his choice of rereading William’s Doll. My freedom from any other obligations let him slowly peel off of me so that I could go get his cars. Her chatter about school and her excited gratefulness for the patchwork quilt we are making for her dolls are precious memories.
What a gift these days have been, and what a comfort these children are to me. This time was an unavailable luxury that I didn’t have when we were raising our three daughters.