October 26, 2022
It was a morning most people wanted to be at home sipping a warm cup of brew. The rain was relentless and it would continue all day. But Papa, Abuela and Nannie each left the comfort of their homes, drove in the rain and picked up their individual grandchildren.
Only three children came for this class, but each of them and their grandparents brought so much life to the rectangular hunter green tent, our home base. It turned out to be quite a memorable class.
As the kids were busy with their crafts, the adults looked at the pouring rain then looked at each other. I asked if we should go for a hike? My question was met with a resounding, “yes!” Everyone gathered their umbrellas and we left the protection of the tent. The adventure began. The grandparents led their grandchildren through puddles, rivulets, and unrelenting rain. Although the whole hike lasted about 5 minutes, Papa, Nannie and Abuela made the best of the whole experience, giggling with each of their grandchildren. It was magical to watch.
Grandparents can be like a delicious Fall pie with important ingredients hidden below the crust’s surface. Some of the filling might include, knowledge from games they played as children. For example, I remember watching my mother teach my daughter the game, “hit the penny with the ball”. A game she played in Brooklyn in the 1930’s. A simple but significant part of play in my mother’s life. She shared this with her whole heart and childlike excitement. Just as Nanna, Abuela and Papa did by jumping in and around the puddles!
Another important pie ingredient is their individual experiences raising their own children. Understanding that a “boo-boo” is not the end of the world and that there is life after injury or heartache. Modeling that getting wet is fine and letting the child know they will be going home and getting warmed up is key to success.
Another vitally delicious pie element is the unconditional love they hold in their hearts for their children’s child. And of course, the experience of age and the gift of being a grandparent, watching a child grow from the outer circle of a family they’ve created.
Nannie, Papa and Abuela shared special moments with their grandchildren. The adults were having fun being kids themselves. They were free spirits with their little sweethearts, enjoying the Fall rain as it fell on and around them. I am so grateful to them for making my day sweeter, as I was able to sample a small slice of that special grandparent pie!