It all started when I tried to think of a way to divert my eleven-year-old granddaughter’s attention from my little Maltese dog. This dog, Molly, is accustomed to a quiet environment. This granddaughter’s persistence in wanting a constant response from Molly prompts me to look for ways to give both of them a rest.
I offered, why don’t we color for about fifteen minutes? My granddaughter agreed and went to the “Toy Box” where she knew I kept the adult coloring book and colored pencils.
To her dismay, she picked up the oversized crayon box and they all spilled into this box that was already a crowded clutter. As we tried to rescue the crayons, she sighed and said, “I think we just need to take everything out.”
“Good”, I said. “I have been wanting to sort out dog toys from children’s toys and this will be a good time to fill one bag for donation and another for trash.
We were working well together. Each little stuffy brought back memories for me but you can’t keep everything just because it is attached to a memory.
When we got to this monkey
I said, “Let’s give this away.”
My granddaughter’s response was immediate. “I think you will regret
that.” Then she locked eyes with me and said with a quiet confidence and compelling authority, “I really think you will”. She went on to remind me that we had played with this monkey when she was a baby.
The locking of our eyes was another priceless connection with this child. The first time I experienced love for her was when she was a few hours old. I remember taking her in my arms and being flooded with love. It was a surprise to me because I thought I would learn to love her with time, but it “happened” with no time or experience needed.
Now, we were having another “moment” of deep connection. This child was, for the first time in my awareness, looking at things through my eyes, for my contentment and emotional protection.
There is an awesome mystery in watching a baby become a child and then evidence the maturity of being able to see “for the good of another”.
This grandchild is my teacher.
The monkey is contentedly leaning into the corner of the toy box having secured a permanent home.