Just a couple of thoughts. Perhaps you have a few of your own.
Being Around Children More
Here are a couple of things that make me feel this way. This is what happens when you’re not a grandmother.
Yesterday was Halloween. I was taking an afternoon walk. I happened upon a little girl, 7, and her little brother, maybe two or so years younger, not much space between them. She told me her birthday was September 17.
It took me by surprise as I walked by and they greet me talking 100 mph. She was wearing an adorable jacket with sparkling silver disks and a cute skirt.
The brother was dressed with a plaid shirt and khakis as best as I remember.
I was heartened they would talk with a stranger. They live in a house on my walking route.
They have been present when I have chitchatted with their parents, either solo or together. Perhaps this is why they weren’t afraid of me, a stranger. They were certainly at ease.
I bring this up only because I have had my feelings hurt when trying to visit with young children.
One time I was at a movie theater arcade. This was years ago. I heard a little one saying to his/her parents that they wanted to play a certain game. The parents said they didn’t think so.
I wasn’t trying to override the parents, but I did walk over to the little one to see which game they wanted to play.
Before the child had a chance to say anything, out of the blue a parent appeared, yanked the child away, and gave me a nasty look.
This was when my course in Strangers 101 began.
I had no idea I was doing something unacceptable in today’s world. I was just wanting to do a random act of kindness to let the child play a game. I would give the needed token.
I perfectly understand now why what I did was wrong. It’s terrible that parents have to be on guard in case someone wants to steal their child. I felt like a criminal.
Then just a couple of years ago I was in line at Target. There was a dad with his little girl and boy directly in front of me. The little girl was leaning on the backs of her dad’s legs. The little boy was in front.
I asked the little girl a simple question. She was bashful and didn’t say anything. I asked a follow-up. Within a split second, she was all wrapped up in her father’s arms.
Boy, that was hard on my ego. I do realize some kids are just shy by nature — but some are fearful of strangers. I get it now.
Not having children of my own, I had not put much thought into raising children in our challenging world. It had never occurred to me how vigilant parents must be in protecting their little ones.
I am thankful my young life was spared this feeling. I hate to say it but these days myself, I don’t pass the time with as many strangers as I used to. I miss that. Even on my walks, if I pass someone I don’t recognize, I’m uncomfortable.
Back to my Halloween walk. I don’t know the children’s names but the little girl excitedly says she has found a blue acorn. This was special because it was blue. I’m pretty sure it was a blueberry.
The brother chimes in that it has a hole in it. He says a leprechaun could live in there.
He positions his index finger and thumb to where they’re almost touching and says, “The leprechauns are only this big.” Then she adds, “Like fairies.”
My heart is happy. I find myself feeling so lucky being a part of their conversation.
She says she’s going to look for more, and she finds a regular acorn. Now she says the fairy can live in this one. The leprechaun is already in the blue acorn. The little brother is asking me how I like his bike.
She continues looking for acorns. She finds one that is cracked in two. I say, “Now you have a house for your leprechauns and fairies.”
Her eyes open as big as the moon and you can see her imagination ticking.
I’m finding all of this so touching. The sweetness. The innocence. And no one was taking them away from the stranger.
I turned around to continue my walk. We all said our goodbyes. The little boy is still asking how I like his bike. She says he just got it.
I’m back walking and kind of blurry-eyed. I felt like I had just been touched by an angel . . . and I had.
Just a quickie about something one of Paul’s nieces said when she was small.
She was wearing the cutest white blouse and a jumper. She walks into the room where some of the family is, spreads her arms out as far as she can, and says, “I have a headache this big.” I’ve just started LOL.
I don’t remember the response of others, but I love having this memory.
These days if either Paul or I have a headache, we will say, “How big is it?” Her mother must of had a really bad headache one day.
Lisa tells me a lot about some of the things her boys say and do. They are 9 and 7. Hilarious. I don’t know how parents keep a straight face. I just love the way logic works with kids.
So, I miss being around kids more. It is a gift seeing the world through their eyes. Grandchildren were not an option for me. I like to say that not having children is my contribution to society.
I Think I Might Miss Having a Sibling
Not to be taken the wrong way, I loved being an only child. And how do I know I really missed having a sibling if I never had one? Maybe it would have turned out not being such a great thing after all.
I have friends who have very close, loving relationships with their sisters and brothers. I envy that. But it’s like getting a new dog or cat — you never know how personalities will turn out.
I might not end up meshing with the person I thought I knew as a younger me. Some siblings could care less about each other. Life’s a box of chocolates.
I think I would have liked to have had one sister. We would be close. Maybe a twin would be nice because they seem to remain close forever.
I’ve never heard a story saying otherwise, but, of course, it happens. However, that may be too close.
At any rate, it’s not an issue. I’m fine being an only. I just wonder what it would be like having so many shared memories and having someone to play with as I grow old.
I Miss Learning How to Knit
What a minor little thing for me to think about since 9th or 10th Grade, but I still do.
It was Home Ec class. Ms. Lee was the teacher. She looked the part of a homemaker of the time. Very nice lady. I remember her as being calm and under control.
At one point during the year, the class took a vote. Ms. Lee wanted to know whether we wanted to learn needlepoint or knitting. Knitting was the victor, and I was a sullen loser.
I thought of the many different things you could knit compared with the limited items you could make with needlepoint.
I tried to teach myself how to knit with those big, clumsy, plastic orange needles. No luck. Mormor tried to teach me — that was nothing but pitiful and embarrassing.
So I don’t know how to knit. I miss that I didn’t learn how. All is not lost though. I can do a half decent needlepoint. While in high school, I made a bunch of monogrammed purses for my mother, grandmother, and some aunts.
The thing about needlepoint is that it is so s-l-o-w getting a piece finished, and who has that kind of time?
In 1992, I volunteered on a national presidential campaign. It was a fantastic experience. Absolutely loved that opportunity.
So the vice presidential candidate was in town shortly before Election Day. You know they’re treated like royalty, right? — even before they win! Ha!
The Atlanta Braves were playing in the World Series in Atlanta, and he wanted tickets. They were playing the Toronto Blue Jays. At this level, getting tickets was no problem.
I was assigned the task of picking them up. I went to a residential home. The house and the lady of the house were charming.
The first thing I noticed when I stepped in was that needlepoint was everywhere. Walls, benches, pillows, probably Christmas needlepoint galore when it was the season — just no telling what else.
I was stunned and in awe. I asked how she had time to work on all these pieces.
Her husband was a bigwig for the Braves’ organization. She attended a lot of baseball games through the years. Instead of sitting there watching baseball, she worked on her needlepoint.
I wish I could go back and take another look-see. She did beautiful work. What a collection.
Finally . . .
These are not really terrible things to miss out on . . . but for the children. Every time I pass by the house on my walk, I can’t help but wonder how the leprechauns and fairies are doing.
Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you are expecting.
Thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments or questions.
Did you know?
The Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci is the most expensive book ever sold. Bill Gates purchased it for $30.8 million. This is according to the Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com http://www.yahoo.com
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