Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Second Childhood

I want to be like a little kid. When I go babysit my grandkids I'm totally there to play with them. I'm not there to clean the house or do the dishes or cook. Its not that I don't heat up food and serve it and, of course, I change dirty diapers, but mostly I just want to play.

I may read books, sing nursery rhymes, bounce them on my knee while singing Yankee Doodle Dandy, walk around the block, tickle, wrestle, dance, or pretend.

Pretending is great fun. My four-year old grandson, David, made up the game "baby bird." I lay on the bed with my knees up and he crawls under my knees and pretends to hatch from an egg. His little brother tries to do the same thing. We do this many times before they get tired of it.

Then David reaches up and pulls the string to turn off the light above the bed and we all pretend its night. They both crawl under the covers next to me and I start to snore. Then David sneaks out from under the covers, turns the light back on, and crows like a rooster to wake me up. I startle awake and he laughs everytime.

Lately, when we go for walks, he wants me to pretend to be "that mean lady." He tells me to be cross. He means Cruella DeVille. Then we go around the block and I order him to steal Dalmatian puppies. He goes and finds a "puppy" and puts it in a "cage" behind the bulldozer he's driving.

When I'm with my three-year old granddaughter, Skyler, the first thing she does is tell me, "You want to make a castle with me. Let's go get the blocks." This is not a request. She also looks for the presents I've given her so we can play with those. One year old Leah wants me to read to her. She likes the wierd voices I use. She loves to point to pictures and show off all the words she knows.

Without grandkids, I wouldn't sit in sandboxes and build sandcastles. I wouldn't wade in little pools. I wouldn't squirt with the hose. I wouldn't chase the kids through splash pads at the park. I wouldn't push them on swings and bounce them on teeter-totters. I wouldn't sit in the bathroom and let them play in the tub as long as they want.

I have patiently put together intricate railroad systems and built log cabins and cool castles only to watch them get destroyed in less than 5 seconds. And then I do it over again.

I'm never in a hurry or rush them through things. I am totally in the moment with them.

You know, I never eat or think about food while I'm actually playing with my grandkids. When they watch TV its a different story, but I have really made it a point now to do things with them and basically they make sure I do. I'm better than TV.

Arthritis limits me to a certain extent as did the weight, but now that I've lost 30 lbs I'm having more fun than ever with my grandkids.

Fun. Play. Dance. Laugh. These are all much better things to do than eat.

Jesus said you have to have the faith of a little child to enter into his Kingdom. He said the Kingdom belonged to the children.

I guess I'm entering into my second childhood.