Teachable Moments

Having made the decision to stay put inour AZ home through the holidays as a safety precaution, I spent most of yesterday missing my grandkids like crazy. This, of course, is ridiculous because our seven Denver grandkids are so busy that I am lucky if I see them once or twice a fortnight. (Just so you know, I have been dying for an opportunity to use the word fortnight. Now I have to find a reason to use gobsmacked, and to stop watching British television.) The other two live in Vermont. But love is not conditional, and knowing I won’t spend the holiday with them makes me sad and love them even more.

As though reading my mind (or perhaps listening in to my conversations), I was fed something from Pinterest that asked me the question what are three things you would like your grandkids to learn from you. I love that question, because I believe so strongly in the relationship between grandkids and grandparents. I assure you I learned things from my Grammie that I don’t even recall her teaching me. That’s because grandparents teach by modeling worthwhile behaviors. Grandparents teach their grandkids things that parents can’t, because parents are simply too busy packing lunches and making sure their kids are being schooled and earning a living so that they can feed and clothe their children.

After some thought, here are three things that I decided I would like my grandkids to learn from me:

First, I enjoy cooking. I don’t particularly, however, enjoy cooking for just Bill and me. I find cooking to be a way of showing love to those that you, well, love. The smells alone can make me think of holiday dinners from my past, or favorite foods of each of my siblings and me. My brother Dave showed me how to shape the bread that had risen in my kitchen recently. Watching him make a perfect loaf of bread from a blob of dough made me think about my dad, from whom Dave learned the art…..

I hope that my grandkids learn to love food, and learn from me as well as their parents the joy that cooking for others can bring.

Second, and related to the first, I want my grandkids to learn the importance of family. I believe they all are very close to their parents and their siblings, and I am so happy about that. They are all wonderful families. But I also want them to know and appreciate the importance of extended family as well. I loved my grandparents with my who heart. I loved spending time with all of my cousins from both sides of the family. My parents made a point of making sure we spent time with — and learned to love — our aunts and uncles. Many of my extended family have gone to heaven, but I still maintain relationships with many cousins, even if it’s only a Facebook relationship. I want my grandkids to love their aunts and uncles and all of their cousins. And so far, they do.

Third, I want them to have self confidence, but know the importance of humility. My mother taught us using this phrase: You are no better than anyone else, and no one else is better than you. That phrase has stuck with me my whole life, and I think it’s important that it is meaningful to the grandkids so that they can be good citizens, good friends, good children of God.

While we are far away from our kids and grandkids this holiday season, we can be closer using technology available to us. Our Vermont grandkids made gingerbread houses yesterday, and they sent us photos…..

I was GOBSMACKED at their cuteness. (There, I did it.)

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