One of the joys of grand parenting is getting to spend time with our grandchildren as often as we can. We are blessed that they currently all live in the area and see them weekly. All of them are under the age of three and they change
Due to school and work schedules this semester, my husband and I have been caring for our oldest granddaughter 3 evenings a week. During her bath time, she has become fascinated with watching the water go down the drain. She recently noticed that the water swirls as it leaves the tub and played with the mini-tornado with delight. While I have heard of other children that are frightened by this, she eagerly investigates the possibilities.
This week, I picked her up at day care and she couldn’t wait to show me the latest find from the playground. In a box filled with leaves was a walking stick that one of the employees had found. All the children learned about this creature and stories abounded about the adventures of this insect. She shows no fear of bugs, much to my dismay when she wants me to pick one up (no, thank you).
My other granddaughter is mastering her language skills and has started to speak in full sentences. She eager tells us about her day and can let us know exactly what she wants rather than depend on us to rely on nonverbal clues. Now, we don’t have to guess when she wants a cookies, or true to her female DNA, chocolate. And, everyone knows grandparents get to offer such goodies to “balance” the more nutritious fare offered by parents.
My youngest grandson has now discovered his hands, feet, and more recently, his ears. When his teething toys are out of reach, he is able to occupy his time investigating how his fingers and toes move and operate. He now recognizes more faces and offers a ready smile when we visit.
Our grandchildren don’t need or expect expensive toys or outings. They are content to spend time with us and explore their world, sharing the simple joys of discovery with us.
How sad that after childhood, we tend to overlook the wonder that surrounds us. As adults and parents, we become so preoccupied with work and responsibilities that we tend to rush through things to get on to the next item on our list. With advancing age comes the realization that mundane tasks will always be waiting and time passes too quickly. We pause to explore the world with our grandchildren because we recognize how valuable this time is.
Jesus often used the common and familiar as he spoke with people. He pointed to birds, lilies millstones, fig trees, grape vines, water, coins, children, etc. in the process of making the point. It is likely that these items would have been ignored as “scenery” had Jesus not used them in the conversation. I am sure that after such encounters, few would look upon the item referenced without recalling how Jesus used it as an illustration.
When I take the time to observe nature, I always see God’s handiwork and experience a reverential awe of his creativity and power that inspires me. Children naturally notice and appreciate what adults overlook. Perhaps, this is one reason that childlike faith is encouraged. Sometimes, it takes spending time with small children to re-capture this childlike wonder.
In that hour the Holy Spirit filled Jesus with joy. Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from wise and intelligent people and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, this is what pleased you.
GOD’S WORD Translation (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 1995), Lk 10:21.