By Sue Ellen Cooper, Exalted Queen Mother – Red Hat Society
If you’re a grandparent, chances are good that you remember many hit songs from the sixties. Thanks to the proliferation of “Oldies” radio stations, it’s still easy to re-hear them whenever we feel like getting nostalgic. The other day I heard “Turn, Turn, Turn,” by the Byrds. Remember that one? I’ll bet you can sing along with some of the words without trying too hard.
We almost certainly did not recognize the wisdom in those words back then, but I’m sure we all do by now – with a few extra decades under our belts. The song poignantly predicted that life would take us through a great many experiences – some wonderful, some painful. As adults we have learned, by experience, that there actually IS a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Among other contrasts, the song mentions a time to plant, a time to reap; a time to laugh, a time to weep; a time to dance and a time to mourn.” We’ve been through all of that.
Another piece of conventional wisdom along the same lines (although it isn’t mentioned in the song) is that there is a time to be a child and a time to be a grown-up and “put away childish things.” When we reach the grandparent stage, we have surely left childish things behind. Most of us in our 50s and beyond actually struggle to remember what the experience of being a child was like. But in this case, it is well worth the effort to try to recapture that free, joyous spirit we may think we have seen the last of – especially if it will help us to truly connect with these small people whom we love so much.
There is something about grandchildren, a delight and freshness they bring into our lives, that cause us to long to get as close to them as we possibly can, to make them happy and share many of the joys of life with them by entering into their worlds.
If you are a grandmother, I have a suggestion that is guaranteed to jump start you in this effort. Join the Red Hat Society! Our mission is all about rediscovering your own “inner child,” refusing to grow stuffy and staid, and emphasizing the joyful, positive aspects of play. What could be more useful in helping you to circle around – back to childhood – and really connect with those kids! There’s a saying that “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” We Red Hatters are living proof of that, and we have plenty of room to take in more “trainees!”
About the Author – Sue Ellen Cooper
Exalted Queen Mother of the Red Hat Society
In case you missed it, here is cover and link to the 2011 issue featuring Sue Ellen Cooper and her two adorable grandkids. Isn’t this a GRAND cover?