Too soon old, and too late smart
Tuesday mornings have gotten to be one of the best of the week for me. I get to go to my daughter’s home, take my four year old granddaughter by the hand, and walk around the corner to Duffy Roll. There, we both tuck into one of their delish “minis” over a cup of joe (for me; Bridget can’t stand the stuff) and orange juice (for her).
That delightful “chore” done, we pull out one or two of the books we’ve carried along and, with the sun streaming through the windows, I read to her. Titles like “Every Cow Girl Needs A Horse”; the kid is pumped about going to the National Western Rodeo in a few days. And “I Wonder Why I Blink”; I swear that her mom is letting her cheat off her anatomy notes from nursing school days.
By then, it’s time to walk back home, get her buckled into her car seat (which, in my estimation is like most child safety devices: almost entirely adult proof-at least for an old curmudgeon like me). And head to her preschool, where I give her a kiss and a hug before she circles up on the floor with her buddies.
Can you believe this?
This little weekly ritual all got started nearly nine months ago. Why nine? Because that’s when my daughter felt a need to get a little break from raising two still very young daughters. While holding down a part time nursing job. All while coping with the stress and strain of growing a third little munchkin. Which, we were eventually delighted to learn, will be our first grandson.
Boy, is Bridget excited to have a baby brother!
But, at least initially, I wasn’t so thrilled to help out every Tuesday morning. “After all,” I thought to myself, “I may be retired. But I still need to spend a lot of time working on my blog and the other stuff I do. This babysitting thing is really going to cut into my day!”
You probably can’t believe the thought even crossed my mind. And, at this point, I’m ashamed to have to ‘fess up to it. Yet there it is. But now am I ever glad that Bridget’s mom asked.
“I’d rather be a mom.”
Not long ago, as we walked home after reading about how our muscles and bones work in, I Wonder Why I Blink, I asked, “Do you think you might like to be a doctor or a nurse when you grow up? You already know a lot about the various parts of our bodies. Your mom’s a good nurse and helps little kids. Maybe that’s something that would interest you.”
“No,” she answered, without skipping a beat, “I want to be a mom.”
Now, do I really have any idea what this bright little four year old is going to do for an occupation? Of course not. No more, in all likelihood, than she really does. But I definitely admire her aspirations.
She doesn’t know it yet, but society will probably pressure Bridget to change her mind. As if aspiring to be a “mere” mom is a second class calling.
But Bridget’s answer was also very revealing. It says a lot about her mom. And, for that matter, her dad. How she admires them. How she loves them. And how they love her and her little sister. And their new baby brother.
Shoot for the moon. Miss, and land among the stars.
So, here I am. Initially a bit resentful at being dragooned into spending one morning a week with my granddaughter. But also thinking that, at least, I’ll be able to pour a few drops of wisdom from my “vast reservoir” into the empty cistern of this little child’s mind.
But what really plays out? Just the reverse. Little Miss Sunshine turns my Tuesday mornings into one of the brightest days on my calendar. And then takes me to school on straightening out my work and family priorities.
So, Bridget, you hang in there. Pay no attention to your old papa. Or any of the other nay sayers. You’re definitely on to something.