Monday, February 28, 2011

A Grandparent's Time Machine

Yesterday was an Amélie day and it induced quite of bit of heart leaping in her Nonna. 

I love going to church with Amélie.  She’s just old enough that she knows how to behave well and she watches everything with a keen eye, mimicking down to the last detail.  She kneels, she folds her hands to pray, she watches the priest and she shouts things out like “Hi Jesus!” or “Thanks be to God.”  She makes me smile without fail.

Yesterday, we went to one of our parish churches that we don’t normally go to but the time of the service worked well with our schedule for the day.  So of course, she was particularly interested in the statues in the church because they were new to her.  After some keen observation and yelling out “There’s Mary,” she looked to the back of the church and noticed a second statue of Mary which resulted in “Oh Nonna, TWO Mary’s” as if to say that life doesn’t get any better than this! Everyone chuckled around us but they chuckled even more when church was over and she walked by the priest and said, “Bye Jesus” and then she looked up at me and said, "And Jesus Loves Me!"  Wouldn’t you just love to crawl inside the mind of a child and snoop around – just for a little while?

Amélie is in her princess phase.  She knows the names of all the Disney princesses and after church today, she thinks that Mary is one of them.  On our way home from church, she had a very serious two-year-old conversation with me about Mary being a princess.  I tried to explain to her that Mary is not a princess but the Queen of Heaven.  Have you ever been in an “argument” with a two-year-old? As I was driving and trying to dissect her rationale in my mind, I remembered the crown on Mary’s head – a new look for Mary to Amélie.  To Amélie, anyone with a crown is a princess.  And to top it off, I have surmised that thanks to the mean old queen in Snow White, princesses are much better than Queens . . . in Amélie's mind!

As the day went on, we continued into princessdom as Amélie asked to watch her princess sing-a-long video which of course her Nonna had to agree too even though it’s burned into my memory after hundreds of viewings.  Watching it usually requires Amélie dressing up like a princess, twirling and dancing all over the living room but it’s evidently not quite as much fun without Nonna’s participation (at least she doesn’t make me dress up)! And later still in the evening, the little princess asked to snuggle in bed with Nonna instead of getting into her bed……which again, Nonna had to agree to. 
Dance with me Nonna!

Princess dancing requires the appropriate attire!

Being a grandparent is like owning your own personal time machine that you can climb into whenever you decide to.  Dancing and twirling around the room with Amélie takes me right back to all the dancing I did in my living room with my kids over the years and I get a warm fuzzy feeling all over.  There’s a great quote by Maya Angelou that I think of often when I think about my family.  Maya Angelou says, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." An excellent guideline for parents because kids forget most of what you say and they inevitably don’t remember all that you’ve done for them…..but how we make them feel seems to stick. The good news about that quote is that it works both ways. . . we may not remember everything our kids said or did (and we don’t necessarily want to!) but remembering the way they made us feel, beginning with the day they were born . . . those feelings will keep us warm in our old age. If I'm blessed enough to live into old age with an intact memory, I hope those feelings will always transport me back to some place where I was dancing, snuggling, hugging, doing something that caused me to melt just like an M&M that’s held tightly in your hand . . .back to a state of awe.  What a gift that would be.

 Today my granddaughter and her enthusiasm for everything in life invigorated me and made me glad to be alive.  And just at a moment when I really needed it.  I don't think there is any better than a twirling two-year-old!

Amélie twirling.....
 If you don’t know the song, Thank God for Kids by Kenny Chesney, check it out on iTunes. 

Thank God for kids there's magic for a while
A special kind of sunshine in a smile
Do you ever stop to think? or wonder why?
The nearest thing to Heaven is a child
When you look down in those trustin eyes
That look to you, you realize
Its love that you can't buy

Thank God for Kids


  1. Since when are you supporting the whole princess thing? What's next, a Barbie with boobs? Haha. I'm kidding. Ash told me about her carrying that Princess candy wrapper around. The Little Mermaid? My little amie is so cute!

  2. This princess thing is not in my blood and I cringe just a little, but she is so adorable, it's hard to deny!