Friday, January 20, 2006


My granddaughter, Bree, and her friend Ash are coming to spend the night. It's been a long time since I've had them overnight together; it used to be a very usual occurrence.

But I moved away from their town. And with all the activities Bree is involved in, it gets harder and harder to have overnight visits. And even harder to coordinate the two girls for a night together. So tonight will be special.

There are certain things that are a tradition, when the girls come to stay with me. And so I gave in to nostalgia. Even though the two have gained a few years since they last came together, I think kids love that continuity... the feeling that things are still the same, in many ways, as they once were, gives the gift of security. They know I love them, and think about them.

And so I laid in the snack foods...the special ketchup chips (dill pickle, too, just in case), the drinks in their favourite flavors, chocolate milk, whipping cream, popcorn, and chicken soup with O's (not a vegetable in sight in this soup!) And Gray has even consented to having dinner at MacDonald's, although I think I can get the girls to agree to go somewhere else...they are starting to enjoy good food, now, too. Maybe.

I went to the stationer's this morning and laid in new supplies...stuff more suited to their advanced ages. And as usual, I made sure Ash had the same things as Bree, although they will have to share some things. But how different these two are now! Difficulty in sharing is a thing that belongs to the past, when it was very important that when the two were together, everything they did was equal.

And all bets concerning nutrition are off, when they're here. I think Gray was even surprised at how much latitude there is, but he is still in parenting mode. He hasn't been a grandparent before. He's learning, though...the girls and I don't mind teaching him. Pickles and cheese were a great snack, when the girls think maybe it's time for something good for them. Oranges are a hit, especially when they're frenched. And the important thing is, that there is no set time for any of these foods. Soup for breakfast is the order of the day, still. They'll eat two bowls apiece, with chocolate milk and whipping cream as a chaser.

Before bed, this time, they wanted a Sno-Cone. I got that 'look' from Gray...I smiled and said, "Sure"! Poor Gray...he's been fighting the flu for the last couple of weeks, but he had promised them one...earlier. Far earlier than ten o'clock at night...but he suddenly couldn't refuse them, either. Even when I gave him an out of the situation.

That's what happens when you're a grandparent.Those angelic brown eyes...eyes that are connected to your heart chakra, which opens and blossoms like a full-blown rose...grandparenting goes hand in hand with spiritual awakening. It shows you what unconditional love is and can be, if it were used in other situations,too.

We only had a short time together, the girls and I. It didn't take long to retrieve the easy comaraderie we three had shared. And to introduce Gray further to the circle. The girls agree he fits right in.

But they made their bed before leaving! And tidied every single thing up. They still required the bags of snacks and a drink for the ride home. And now there is a new tradition...before I drive Bree home, we stop at the Cat Rescue Shelter, where Bree connects with the kittens and cats awaiting a home. We still have our wonderful chat on the way home, where we discuss school and friendships and trips and on and on.

How wonderful for me to know, even with all the upheaval and changes and grief over the last years, some things never change. That unconditional love I spoke about just grows with the grandchild. I had that same love for my kids as they were growing up, but that was parenting love...a whole-hearted love, to be sure, but parents are teachers of the mundane. Whilst grandparents, in most cases, are free to do whatever their natures tell them.

So kids grow up, with all the transitions and changes that entails. Along with the wonderful nostalgic memories of the infant, toddler and elementary years, we are now gathering pre-teen remembrances. And it will go on, with my heart chakra just bursting with love, whenever those brown eyes connect.

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