Whether you live near or far, it's the little things that make being close so special.By Beverly BeckhamYou don’t have to live close by to be close to your grandchildren. Cell phones, messaging, Skype and even the old fashioned postal service, keep grandparents who live far distances in touch.
Five of my grandchildren live in the town where I live. The other three are 242 miles away. (But who’s counting?) This is practically next door compared with their other grandparents who live 3, 218 miles away!
But Megan, 8, Luke, 6, and Euan, 2, love their Granny Scotland as much as if she lived in the next apartment. Why? Because she sends them notes and parcels full of things children love. Chocolate and new pencils for school and the next book in the Lulu the Witch series, which she knows Megan is reading because she Skypes all the time and is aware of what all the kids are doing.
It’s this that the children see - Granny’s presence in their lives, not her absence. She is just a phone call, a text, a swipe of an iPad away.
Granny Scotland puts me to shame. I seldom Skype. I never send parcels. I’ve sent a few post cards but that’s it. Instead, I visit the kids and they visit my husband and me. That’s our bonding time.
This summer, the two older ones spent five weeks with us. There were many good days. But there were a few “Will you please stop bickering?”“What’s bickering, Mimi?” days.
There were some ups and downs but we got close in those five weeks.
And the best things about being close with your grandkids, as Granny Scotland has long known, is the take-away. All the little things that grandkids say and do that touch your heart and make you smile...
1. Their dialog is unforgettable.
“But, Mimi. It’s my turn to watch Sheriff Callie,” Luke says at 6:00 am/bc (Before coffee)
“No, it’s not, Mimi. It’s my turn. He got to pick yesterday.”
”But I didn’t get to watch the whole thing! So it’s still my turn!” “That’s not fair!” Megan wails.
“Yes, it is!”
“No, it isn’t!”
That’s when - still before coffee, I beg them to stop bickering.
“What’s bickering?” they both want to know.
“It’s arguing. It’s not getting along.”
“We’re not arguing,” Megan say
“We never argue,” Luke agrees. “We love each other. And then swear to God, at the exact time, they turn and hug each other and say, “I’m sorry. It can be your turn.”
How sweet it is when the sweetness returns.
2. They send the cutest thank you notes.
Charlotte was 7 when she wrote to thank me for an afternoon we had spent together. It was just an ordinary afternoon, but clearly it was special to her.
3. They give you the best gifts!
4. They teach you things you didn’t know you didn’t know.
I bought a Nintendo DS at a yard sale. Didn’t know what a DS was. (It’s a dual-screen hand held video game) Adam, who is 12, explained. Luke, the 6-year-old would love it, he said. Adam was right. Adam also downloaded a word game for me. WordBrain. It’s a challenge. Every time we play it, guess who wins?
5. Grandkids make you remember.
The fun of baseball,
And talent shows,
And laughing til it hurts,
And eating birthday cake,
And playing at a water park,
And petting small animals.
And the very creative things you can make with sea shells!
6. Grandkids make you proud of their accomplishments,
7. Laugh when they are crying,
8. Taste life in a different way.
9. Grandkids make you work hard to get the perfect family picture. And though it is NEVER perfect - someone is looking up, someone is looking down, someone’s t-shirt is showing, someone is looking away - you think it’s perfect anyway. And you smile.