aging · art · Family · Grandparenting · Love · poetry

Cured

Grandma!
the word wraps me
in bubbly warmth –
an invasion of limbs
impress upon my heart –
best mood-altering
prescription ever!

(Tuesdays I borrow from Twitter.  Follow me @Vjknutson.  Image from personal collection.)

aging · Family · Grandparenting · Love · poetry · Uncategorized

Grandma To The Rescue

September is
chilly mornings
and classroom routines,
cardigans dragged home,
and the onset of colds.

Grandma packs her bag
with activities to distract,
a soup to boost bodies
and an apple crisp
fresh from the oven.

Some days
the best education
comes snuggled under
warm blankets with
inter-generational love.

(For Ragtag Communty’s daily prompt: crisp.  Grandma duty calls, be back later!)

aging · Family · Grandparenting · life · poetry

Babysitting

eyes wide with wonderment
fix on me, beseeching attention

rosebud lips part in genuine glee
when my coveted gaze meets hers

she tilts her peach fuzz head and
with a shrug of a shoulder expresses

a learned coyness, a treasured cuteness,
softening this old woman’s jaded edges

clumsy, chubby fingers reach, fumble,
eventually grasp their target, instinctively

raised to mouth, pink fleshy tongue
ready to explore – my aged hands

reacting, reflexes set to protect,
shelter inexperience, purity

I am awed by her perfection –
innocence flanked by innate trust

what do I have to teach this precious soul
whose joy of life, untarnished, mocks

my own brand of cynicism,  my words
painted with such bias as to destruct

not encourage the fearlessness she displays
eager arms reach for mine, seeking support

unskilled legs desperate to gain a stride
wobble, infantile toes slightly curled

she leads me to the staircase, pridefully
demonstrates how she’s learning to climb

fear fogs my appreciation, having known
the pain of many falls,  I reluctantly follow

admire her determination, the patience
it takes to build such dexterity, a resilience

I could learn from, wonder which of us
has more to offer the other, and then

she is done with the exercise, desires to
descend, has no idea how to proceed, and I

happy to oblige, guide her with the proficiency
of someone artful in the act of backing down.

 

Family · Grandparenting

Win-Win

“First one to ten wins,” I tell my four-year-old granddaughter.

We are seated beside the large, corner, picture windows facing the street.  It’s a favourite spot of ours, and we spend hours contemplating nature, or playing “I Spy”.  Today, she is counting white cars that drive by and I am counting red.

“There’s a white one!” she exclaims, jumping up and down on the couch.  “I’m beating you by one.”

“You are!  Eight to seven.”  Is it wrong, I ask myself, that I am teaching my granddaughter to be competitive?

“First one to ten wins a prize,” she adds.

“Okay,” I respond, smiling warmly.  I love how she brings such enthusiasm to the simplest of games, and amusingly notice how she always manages to work a treat in.  Competition, I decide is a natural part of life.

“Another white one!  And another.  That’s ten!”

“Oh you beat me.  What prize would you like?”

She thinks about it for a moment, her blue eyes studying my face for any signs of disappointment.   “I know!” she beams. “How about we keep playing till we both have ten and then both of us can have a treat?”

Another white car drives by and I point it out.

“No Grandma,” she chides me.  “We are only looking for red cars now.”

In a matter of minutes two red cars pass and she declares that we are both winners and can now claim our rewards.  Playing along, I follow her into the kitchen, wondering what it is she has in mind.

Holding open the pantry door, she considers the options.  “Do you have any gummy bears?”

“No gummy bears, just fruit snacks.  Would you like a cookie?”

“Umm, no….you can’t eat that.”  I am impressed.  She sincerely wants me to share in the honours, and as she well knows, this Grandma doesn’t eat cookies (unless they are gluten free).  She yanks open the freezer drawer and finds popsicles.  “Here you go Grandma.”

We sit at the table, commenting on our chosen flavours and whether or not we lick or bite our frozen treats, all the while exchanging loving glances.

“I love you Grandma!” she tells me between bites.

“I love you, Sweetheart.  Thanks for letting me be a winner too.”
She cocks her head to the side and grinning broadly gives me a thumbs up and I marvel at the lesson this little soul has just taught me about compassion and win-win.

 

 

Grandparenting

Grandmother’s Rhapsody

Tiny pink boots,
with yellow ponies
stomp on the doorstep
announcing the arrival
of a granddaughter.
Wispy blonde hair
gathered atop her head
bobs as she chatters
not stopping to say hello.

“Hello Pumpkin!” I announce
helping her out of her puffy
pink jacket, purple leggings
jumping up and down.
“My cousin’s a pumpkin, too!”
“She is indeed!”  Pumpkin two
dances up behind her, eyes
shining, also in pink, barging
ahead with hugs and a kiss.
I pull them into a group embrace
and breathe in the wonder
of their sweetness.

Dinner time is wiggles
and lighthearted scolding:
“Stay in your seat if you
want cake.”  Easily excited.
Rapturous laughter over
the silliest of things –
a word that sounds funny,
an eyebrow raised,
an involuntary snort –
such innocent glee.
My heart is full.

Afterwards, little feet
scatter, giggling as
they scramble –
the smallest one
taking a running leap
to scale our massive bed –
duck beneath my throw,
make a sorrowful effort
to hush – hiding –
as if i cannot see the
two-humped mass
beneath the blanket.

On tiptoes, I sneak
around the bed,
grasp the edge
and whisper “Boo”
as I lift the cover
to delighted squeals
and we play it again
and again, as if for
the first time, until
the smaller can no longer
contain herself and falls over,
weakened with rapture.

We cuddle, me sandwiched
in the middle, tiny legs
draped over mine,
heads leaning in.
“It’s so fun here, Grandma”
pudgy little hands touch
my cheeks, blue eyes
speaking such tenderness.
“Promise me you’ll come again.”
Then it’s time to leave,
and with mighty hugs
and mushy kisses
they are gone
and the sound of their
joy echoes in the silence
of their absence, filling
the empty spaces.
My heart smiles on.