IntrepidWoman's Journey

Michael the Magnificent

Posted on: October 12, 2011

Michael is my first-born grandchild and he will be 6 years old on January 2, 2012. Those years have gone by in seemingly seconds.  He has a 3 1/2 year old sister and a 5 1/2 year old cousin. The two boys have developed a great bond and love spending time together.  Michael is also very patient and pretty tolerant with his sister. There is no doubt that his world changed drastically when she was born, but he has adapted, like children do, and is a happy, energetic and intelligent wee boy and a protective big brother.

Lately, when I visit his house, Michael has been in his own world of Lego and not willing to talk. Questions were receiving one word answers and I was feeling like we were losing our connection, which made me feel so sad. I don’t know how long I will be around for my grandkids and want our time to be really special. My Norwegian grandmother who taught me unconditional love, passed when I was 13 and I missed her so much as I continued to grow up.

I realize that things were different now that there were two children in the family. When they come to stay over, they play together, squabble together and laugh together, but we do not have one-on-one. Michael and I used to have one-on-one.

After a really enjoyable family time together for Thanksgiving dinner at my house last weekend, Michael stayed overnight. Out the door went sister, mom and dad and there we were, just the two of us. Michael had brought Lego to play with and wanted to watch Tree House. Then he had a bubble bath and played happily with toys from the sea chest. He was enjoying uninterrupted play time. Eventually, it was time for bed and he decided to sleep with me in my bed instead of the originally chosen couch.

As he snuggled down into the fleece sheets, he grinned and said how warm my bed was. With blankets tucked up to our noses, I closed my eyes, tired after a busy day. I knew that once Michael fell asleep, I would move to the couch and get some sleep before he bounced up, bright-eyed and exuberant early the next morning.

Then it happened. Michael began to talk. He told me about his kindergarten teacher. He talked about the planets, Terry Fox and so much more. I just lay there, looking at him and listening to him and commenting when required. He talked for a very long time, and I marvelled at how much he has learned in kindergarten already and how much more he knows that I don’t know or don’t remember. It was lovely. His brown eyes were wide as he shared so many things with me. We tickled and talked and played opposites. If I say go it means stop. Don’t tickle! I mean do tickle. . .

As suddenly as it began, it stopped. His eyes closed and he was sound asleep. The last thing he had asked was, “which planet has the rings around it Nana?” Neither of us could remember, and then he was asleep. I lay there for a long time, just watching him sleep before I moved to the couch. I checked him several times during the night and he barely moved because he was snug and warm in my fleece sheets.

It was early the next morning when he bounced up on the couch and gleefully exclaimed, “It’s Saturn Nana! Saturn has rings!”

The entire day was filled with conversation and finally the drive home. Michael fell asleep 10 minutes before arrival at his house, but woke as the car came to a stop.

After a visit, Nana headed home. Miss Laura announced that she was coming next time with Michael and of course she will, but we will always find time for one-on-one, with Michael and with Laura. Little ones need that special time when the world rotates only around them and someone is giving them undivided attention as they share their thoughts.

Besides, this Nana needs to re-learn things like Saturn has the rings. Michael has a lot to teach her in the next few years, as does Laura and Jack. And Nana needs to share unconditional love so that they will always remember how special and how wonderful and how unique they each are.

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