A recent Facebook post suggested that babysitting contributes to prolonged life for grandparents. Given how exhausted I am after spending time with my granddaughters, I find that hard to believe, and yet… there is an undeniable glow that lingers for days every time I am exposed to those precious little souls.
“You spend all of your parenting time trying to calm your kids down, just so you can wind them up when you’re a grandparent,” I told my son-in-law, after having hidden in the bathroom waiting to pounce on the two older girls, chasing through the house. My ruse was so effective, I even managed to scare my daughter.
“You always wind them up, Mom!”
A grandmother’s prerogative.
I can’t seem to hug, cuddle, or coddle them enough, and at six, five, and a year and a half, they seem happy to let me. I love it.
If grandchildren help us live longer, it is because they reawaken aspects of ourselves we may have long forgotten.
Finn, now in Grade One, is outgoing, fearless, and a total goof. With her silly dance moves, and repertoire of different accents, she reminds me of a younger me – I was known for my imitations of Lily Tomlin.
Sloane, at five, is much more sensitive, and girly. From infancy, she has been a giggler, and it seems she and I just have to look at each other to set the laughter in motion. She is inquisitive, and always wants me to tell her stories. I get the best hugs from Sloane.
August, born a year ago May, is not talking yet, but her communication skills are unquestionable. If I’m in the room, Grandma is where she wants to be, her chubby little fingers grasping mine as she pulls me around. Life for her, is nonstop exploration, and she is a little sponge, learning from it all.
My grandchildren give me love, unconditional, and remind me that life is precious, and that joy is never out of reach.
Maybe they are helping me live longer, after all.
(All photos from my personal collection.)