"Do I get a kiss?, " I asked my 2 1/2 yr old granddaughter.
"Not today," she answered. No explanation, just the fact. No kiss today. How great is that? An honest answer, unfiltered from a 2 1/2 year old.
"Pop can sleep over." This from the same child whose parents were away, my wife was sleeping over, and I was at home. But, she wanted me to sleep at her house.
"Pop, come in my room." I was over at her house and not paying attention to her. She wanted my attention, brought me in her room, closed the door and then was trying to decide how to entertain me.
"Pop, I love you." from our 6 yr old grandson. Just simple love.
"Pop, let's swing" when I was near the swing set with him.
"Pop, let's go fishing," when he wanted to go out in the boat and his dad was working.
"No hug for pop," as my 9 yr old grandson ran away looking back trusting I'd be after him to give him a hug. It's no, I'm getting older, but I still need a hug, but can't ask for it, or pretend I like it. He does, we all do. You can tell by the smile and the look.
"Pop, call in sick!" from my 9 yr old grandson who wanted me to go with him, as I have in the past, to his mom's office Christmas party.
At 9 they are 'independent', until you are not with them. Then, they want you. We are security for the young family members, and we need to remember it. They don't always show it, but they expect us and rely on us. It's up to us to be sure we don't let them down. Nor should we say yes and then not go. They look up to us, and they rely on us. If in attendance, they can ignore us, yet that's because they know we are there for them. We are security. We are a lifeline.
Love. Love comes in so many forms, so many comments, that we have to pay attention. Love and reliance on us is a huge deal to our children, grandchildren, and those who look up to us. Love, respect, and reliance are all not big, but HUGE issues.
In hindsight I can see times, times I won't tell you about, that I was relied on and did not deliver, and did not do as requested. Yet, looking back, in a quiet moment, I see the value, the trust and the love. It's not the request, as much as the what's behind it. Look behind the request, see the true value, the true reason, and your response may be different.
LOVE is spelled, TIME. Young parents don't have all the time with all the pressures. As grandparents, we do have more time or should make more time. At the same time, we can regret the time not spent in our working years. Well, have a pity party for 10 minutes, then realize you did the best you could at the time.
When we know more we do more. We love the same, we just mature and grow in how to see it, how to express it, and how to recognize it. Love is so hidden in many actions.
The young, they show the love, they are not filtered, and they are sincere. Their ego has not grown defensive. So, let's learn from the kids. They show and express love. They do it in obvious ways and less obvious ways. Be aware, take heed, show your love. Stop, show your love.
Love is also reliability and protection for the young. They rely on those who they love, and we can't, or shouldn't let them down.
My grandson, the one who wanted me to call in sick, made me realize how much he relied on me to be with him for the office Christmas party. I had gone the year before, and he expected me to go this year. He expected his event would be the most important event on my schedule.
While I couldn't go, I could call him before and after. He knows, I trust, I wanted to be there, I couldn't, but I did what I could to contact him. Only he knows the value of what I did, or didn't do. Kids do value differently than we do.
So, love, love like a kid. Express yourself, be aware of how others love you and how you can best respond. Love is your greatest asset, and the greatest reason for being alive. Enjoy it.
Focus on it.
It's December. It's time for all the holiday celebrations. Don't just give a gift that's wrapped up. Give of yourself, give your love, give your time, give your attention, and give what is most needed by not only the young but also the old.
Time, time and full attention, is the greatest gift you can give. Time, time and full attention, is the greatest gift you can give. Time, time and full attention, is the greatest gift you can give.
Yes, I repeated it three times. I need repetition, and you do too. Remember, time, time and full attention, is the greatest gift you can give.