The New Senior for July 15th
By Teri Myers
We made it through the 4th of July and the hot temperatures and now we are settling into summer.
Just as I do in winter, I take a little time to consider life as I am experiencing it. For those of you who know me, I have shared how life changes when you add a little baby to your life. Grandma is not a title I have ever thought about very seriously, but, now, with a seven month old crawling through my life, it has taken on a new meaning.
It is like when you have your own children and hold them in your arms and dream about their future, for a time, after they grow up, you forget about these things that are important to a little child because you are so far removed from things like dirty diapers and covering the plugins for safety and as you see what is developing into a person right in front of you, it gives you pause. There are so many things that are crucially important to helping an infant and with those things comes the delight of watching a little guy learn to clap hands, or babble out a phrase that is perfectly intelligible to him, but completely out of the realm of human understanding to the rest of us.
I sat with my little grandson for a little time last evening to quiet him and put him to sleep for his mom.
Between the two of us, there is an opera of sorts that happens when I am with him. I sing to him quietly if it is sleepy-time. Everything I say- especially when he is really active and cranky- becomes the song and it settles him somehow. I watch him as he listens to the words I sing and sometimes he just sits on my lap or if I am singing a quick verse, he bobs his head in time. I never remember the lyrics from the time before, so he is always hearing new words and phrases and like every little child he is soaking in all that is new on a daily basis. It is a wonder.
After a few minutes of time, even when he is wound up, he nestles close and I see him start to blink long blinks until he falls asleep. I sing until he is asleep.
Last night, he was pretty upset and it took a couple of minutes to get going. I felt him start to melt into me and we looked at each other a couple of times and he was out like a light!
Now, when he is awake and this week since he figured out how to move through the room by the beginning of his crawling phase, it is all about scooping him up and away from the No Nos of his new active life and putting him into a safer interactive place.
My arms are getting stronger and I am wearing out by the end of my day from work and the time I get to spend with our little miracle!
I speak occasionally about our responsibility as seniors to reach out to the younger generations to teach what we know and share what is important (You know, the things you don’t find on an IPhone or android?). Is there any more important time in a child’s life than infancy to teach about trust than now? All kids learn that they can trust the parent figures if they feel taken care of. If not, we begin to lose them between the cracks.
So, Grandma and Grandpa, Great Aunt or Uncle: take on the idea of teaching one thing to a child this month. Sign up to greet kids coming back to school. Help a child by reading him a book or helping with a chore or a tool. One thing! What you will discover is a miracle of your own and a new friend who likes people of all ages- something we seniors often forget to remember! It takes all of us!
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