By: Christine Hersom
(3 min read)
Snuggled under her chin, I can feel her heartbeat, and it gives me comfort. Her warm arms hug me closer, the strength of her love relaxes me and makes me smile. The house smells of warm baking bread, and the wood smell from the kitchen cookstove. The kitchen is the busiest yet calmest place in the house. No matter how busy she was, she always stopped to hug me close. She was my grandmother. She oversaw running the house of a working farm. Always busy, always cooking, and always loving.
I spent the better part of my childhood living with my grandparents. My father was a cross-country trucker, and my mother was sick. I don’t want anybody to feel bad…it was the best time of my life.
My grandmother would take time out of her day and pull out the old sewing machine. She would teach me to cut patterns, thread bobbins, and sew clothes. I remember picking this gaudy, God awful fabric from her stash. I wanted to make her an apron (she wore an apron everyday – all day). The fabric was some sort of bright colored geometric pattern. I don’t even know where it came from. I worked for days on that apron. When I finished, the apron hung crooked. The ties were different lengths. And the material looked like something from the ground at Woodstock.
I was so proud of that apron. My grandmother wore that apron one day a week for what seemed like forever. When I was a teenager, the family sold the farm, and we moved my grandparents into a mobile home. I found the apron in one of the boxes. I couldn’t believe she had kept the ugly thing. When I asked her why she said, “My beautiful granddaughter made it for me…it’s my favorite apron.” As a teenager I thought, “She needs her head checked.” As a memory today, it reminds me of the love of my grandmother.
Science says that grandchildren need to have their grandparents in their lives. It is good for them and makes them well-rounded adults. As I am sure you agree,, grandparents need grandchildren in their lives, too. Watching their grandchildren grow reminds them of another time, and shows them the things they may have missed in their children’s lives.
When my children were young, I worked forty hours outside of the home. My husband was an Operating Room nurse and worked at least forty hours plus being on call. He was also in the National Guard. Needless to say, we missed a lot of things with our children.
Now as a grandparent, I get to enjoy the things I felt I missed with my children. I have more time, and we are more secure financially than we were as young adults.
I spend time every day with all three of my grandchildren. I make them breakfast, help with schoolwork, and I rock my youngest grandchild to sleep each night. When my children were little, I would rush the nighttime routine so that I could clean up the house before bed. As a grandparent, I realize that time is precious, and we have so little of it. The housework can wait.
I sit in my rocking chair and play peek-a-boo with my granddaughter. But mostly I inhale her baby scent, rub her soft skin, and think back to a time when I had the chance to do this with my children. Why are we so driven as young adults? Who or what has convinced us that the world will end if we do not work harder and harder?
As I prepare to rock my granddaughter to sleep, we play patty cake and peek-a-boo. Her soft giggles melt my heart. She puts her hands on the sides of my face and pulls me to her for a sloppy, open-mouthed kiss. The intense love in that moment rejuvenates me no matter what kind of day I have had.
As I said before, scientists say that grandchildren need their grandparents in their lives. This is true, but I also believe grandparents might even need their grandchildren. They keep us young, revive old memories, and give true uninhibited and unconditional love.
Christine Marshall Hersom
All Things Wellness, LLC
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