Little Things I Hope My Grandchildren Will Remember
By Anne Bardsley
If you count wealth in dollars, I am not a wealthy woman. I drive a small PT cruiser convertible. I don’t have a yacht, or even a boat. I can’t afford to buy fine art. My house is not a mansion or even a mini-mansion. My bank account rises and falls and I don’t have a personal stock broker.
If you count wealth by the little rich moments in life, I am a billionaire. I prefer that kind of wealth.
I hope when my three grandchildren are older, they will remember the simple, sweet things we did together:
After baths and jammie time, we go out to search the sky for the moon.
We sing in unison, “Mr. Moon, where are you?” Their eyes are wide with expression as we peek through the trees and the clouds. I usually take twenty minutes to do a moon search.
“Who is the man in the moon?” I ask.
“I don’t know him. What’s his name?”
“Is he there with his wife? I hope he’s not lonely way up there.”
“How did he get way up there? He must have called Toodles.”
We all agree. Toodles can find mystery tools to solve any problem on The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show.
My grandson and I snuck out just last week alone. He stretched out on the hood of my car while we gazed at the stars. His blue eyes were wide as his curls blew gently in the wind. With his arm stretched behind his head, he said, “We are stargazers, Gigi.” I smiled thinking I want to remember this moment forever. “Yes, we are. We are stargazers.”
I called his mom to come join our Stargazer Club. It’s a prestigious, magical club for an almost three-year-old. It’s also quite magical for a grandmom.
When I visit my granddaughters, the youngest one wakes me by staring into my face and giggling. I feign sleep because I love these moments. She giggles louder and then attempts to pry my eyelid open. When I open my eyes, her face is touching mine. “It’s tea party time!” she yells, waking her sister.
Our parties are not fancy with white gloves and china. Rather, we pour lukewarm tea into tiny cups with dragonflies. We sit and have chats about their lives. “I like to dance. I’m a really good singer too,” the oldest, a preschooler, will say, as she pours the first cup.
I have to control the sugar bowl; otherwise, we have a sugar party with a spot of tea. The younger one will always tell me, “I need more sugar.” Even before she tastes her tea, she is convinced it’s not sweet enough. It’s not worth a battle early in the morning. I pass her the sugar with a very small spoon. She’s convinced it’s a delicate spoon for tea parties only. It’s really just the smallest spoon from the doll house’s kitchen to hold less sugar.
I love the little fingers that wrap around my hand when we’re walking. I’ve mastered I Love You, in sign language. My youngest granddaughter really worked on getting those fingers lined up correctly. Her eyes were so intent while focusing as she said, “This finger here, and this finger there. Ooops! Where’s my thumb? My other fingers won’t stay down.” I could have watched her forever.
There is nothing richer than sitting with a grand on your lap, discussing his or her lives. We talk about pre-school, bugs, boogies, friends, and may other important facts of life. We wonder how we can to the ice cream store after a nap. We discuss imaginary things too. My grandson told me that since he has Dusty, the crop hopper from the Disney movie, he can fly to visit me anytime. I am learning all of the Paw Patrol characters so I can keep up with the conversation intelligently. I often confuse Sky and Zuma.
We talk about how I could stuff Pop in my suitcase so he can come along next visit. When I ask what I can bring them on the airplane, they tell me, “Just bring Pop. He should quit work and come see us.” I agree.
“Just bring him to the ‘hairport’, Gigi.”
My grandson is full of reasons we need to go the toy store to buy a Blue Angel airplane. “Pop likes Blue Angels,” he tells me with such a convincing face that I want to buy six of them. To be honest, I have bought six.
Having a face-to-face, nose-to-nose, “I love you so much” moment is absolutely priceless. A cheek-to-cheek, butterfly kiss is a bonus.
There is usually dancing involved during our visits. If there’s dancing, there’s lots of laughter, wiggling, clapping, more wiggling, and cheering.
You haven’t lived until you dance with three little people to:
“Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur,
Got the whole club looking at her.
She hit the floor, next thing you know,
Shorty got low-low-low-low.”
I cannot get as low-low-low as Shorty.
When they are all visiting our house and it’s time to calm down for bedtime, the three little ones line up in a row and file into my bedroom. They prop themselves up, on my side of the bed, and eat candy with Pop. He has a magical power. He finds Milk Duds in their ears! Who knew ears can grow candy?
There are tons of giggles and loud laughter at ten o’clock, way past bedtime, from that room. Shortly after the Mild Duds are gone, the Piggy Man arrives to tickle their feet. Pop knows just how to calm little ones before bedtime.
Having all three of them together at one time only happens once or twice a year. That is my favorite time. It’s the best gift I could have. If I could bottle that joy, I could be a very wealthy woman.
Who am I kidding? I’m already a billionaire.
About the Author – Anne Bardsley
Anne Bardsley is the author of How I Earned My Wrinkles . . . Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause. She barely survived raising five children and is grateful she didn’t strangle them as teens because she now has three beautiful grandchildren. She lives with her husband of thirty-seven years and two chubby cockapoos, in St. Pete, Florida. She frequently confuses her age and bra size.