“We don’t talk anymore, Nana,” our near eleven year old granddaughter lamented. Her comment took me aback as I contemplated her words, for surely I never want to stop having conversations with this dear girl. Yet she was correct. Throughout the COVID -19 quarantine, and their house remodeling, it seemed catching up with family news oriented me to visiting with the adults, rather than focusing on the children when we spent time with them. Wondering about her comment I tucked it into my heart to see how the LORD would enlighten me to resolve this problem.
Several days later our sweet granddaughter came to our home to spend special time building a butterfly house with Papa. Woodworking has long been my husband’s happy place, and to see the two of them together crafting that house warmed my heart. I peeked out into the garage shop two or three times to snap a picture, then left them to enjoy, knowing I would have a turn with her when they were finished. Chatting while fixing food, then while she ate, I learned that painting the butterfly house would have to wait for another day, additional hardware needed to complete it.
Painting day finally arrived. Papa and I had delivered the butterfly house and the paints to our granddaughter the day before, with plans for me to return the next morning to oversee the project. Encouraged to pencil-draw her design on the wooden house, she had a lovely mountain scene ready on the front, and a geometric design on the lid, when I arrived that morning. After a short visit with the three siblings to eat breakfast sandwiches and drink orange juice, dear granddaughter and I headed to their garage to paint, and talk. And talk we did, nearly non-stop for a couple hours as she painted and painted. Her two brothers graciously let us have our girl time, their turn coming in a few more days.
I am continually surprised at the level of maturity in our grandchildren, flip-flopped with that proverbial childish behavior that oozes out unbidden. We talked about Star Wars and video games (these children could certainly win a Trivial Pursuit game about them) and about more weighty issues such as hurts loved ones have endured, or are enduring. It gave me opportunity to share some truths about relationships, how people impact us, the false assumptions one might develop from painful misunderstandings. It was interesting to watch her respond to this information, her sharp mind considering my words, and wondering. A precious privilege to share with her about such things, my hope is that she will find a safe person in me, one in whom she can voice concerns, explore questions, lay open her own pain. “LORD, please give me many more times like this with our precious grandchildren, each of them unique and wonderfully made!”
After painting we joined the boys for snuggle time on the couch and more reading of the Green Ember series by S.D. Smith. We are on book 3 now, Nana reading while the older two read silently along (or sometimes aloud to give Nana a break), and the youngest listens in. In a world of Legos, Star Wars and Harry Potter, the adventures of rabbits with swords defending and fighting for the Mended Wood has captured us all. For is that not what we all are fighting for? That longed for peace, the mending of the tangled wood in which we live? I can’t wait for time together again with our grands, and the sweet, and sometimes very silly, conversations that come from just being together. And, oh, maybe another one of those spontaneous and hilarious back massages I received while sitting on the couch, six young feet simultaneously bringing my old back back to life!