I started having “Grandma Day” when my first grandson was three months old. We had a memorable first day alone together when I realized that his mom forgot to add a bottle nipple for his milk. We made a mad dash to the drug store before he could dissolve into a starving, screaming baby. I didn’t know there are different size holes in bottle nipples so I nearly drowned the hungry guy. But we went on to have weekly adventures until he started pre-kindergarten and our time reduced to one-half day. And Grandson Two came along.
Big brother’s new baby brother added some more Grandma Days to my life. I waited for that one to be able to walk since he was a very heavy boy and I had knee surgery and other challenges. Some of my fondest memories involve napping with Grandson Two when we would read a book, sing some songs, and then he would reach to hold my hand while he fell asleep. We have spent lots of time reading books, going to playgrounds, watching movies, playing games and puzzles, going to a zoo, sandbox play, and favorite breakfasts. My all-time favorite compliment is, “Grandma, you make the best ——in the whole world.”
Days We Won’t Get Back
I have missed plenty of Grandma Days with my own travel experiences, and there were times when I would have preferred a quiet day for myself. Somehow I thought I would have Grandma Day for the rest of my life. Then our full day switched to a half day when Grandson Two attended volunteer pre-kindergarten. Afternoons evaporated quickly. We both started to realize that next school year is all-day kindergarten.
I had both grandsons for a few days during their springs breaks. Then a global pandemic affected our lives and our adult children thought it best to not share grandchildren with us for our own safety. After almost three weeks without Grandson Two, we don’t know how many more weeks until it will seem healthy to share our spaces.
After I had grandchildren I often took it all for granted. We would share holidays, birthdays, and Saturday lunches. We would go to the beach every July 4. None of that was supposed to change so soon—so unforseen for most of us. Now we can see each other on apps and share a few sentences before the boys get silly or tired. We can drop off some gifts to their door step and talk across the front yard. But there are many days that we will never get back.
This morning I woke up and felt robbed. If school starts again on time for the next year, I may only have a few Grandma Days this summer, or none. The boys will be inches taller. I’m starting to understand how the other non-local grandparents feel about missing out on the passages of family life. Perhaps our future days will become more precious. Maybe there will be fewer days spent studying personal screens while in the presence of family members. Fewer days when no one telephones the older ones. Fewer days making excuses to the little ones, “I must be washing, cooking, cleaning, working, watching TV.”
Pandemics have accosted this earth before, but not for us. However, the Big Pandemic of sin infection has existed on this earth since the Garden. Perhaps this sense of being robbed of days was part of what filled Jesus’ mission to earth. The deceiver had stolen time away from the eternity that was designed to belong to God and all the generations of his precious children. Yet death will not reign. Time will change into fathomless love.
Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:
- Do you believe there is a way to redeem “lost time?” How?
- Read Romans 8: 18, 28, 37-39. What do these verses mean to you?
Karen Spruill writes from Florida.
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