This New Year’s Eve most of our adult kids were out for the evening — and no wonder we weren’t asked to join them. After all, it was a great night for a sleepover with four of our Little People. After dinner out with our oldest daughter, Jaime, and her family we took the littles home and tucked them in. JJ, age seven, learned over dinner that his cousin, Wyatt (also seven), would be staying up till midnight with his parents and sisters.
“Granma,” he said, looking up at me with tender greenish eyes that match perfectly with his red hair, “can I stay up late, too?”
What’s a Granma to do? Say yes, of course! The only problem was his two younger sisters were determined they would all sleep in the same room and go to bed at the same time.
“How ’bout if you lay down until your sisters fall asleep, then sneak out quietly to join Granma and Papa in the family room?” I offered.
The tired little girls fell asleep in record time and before long a little boy wearing only underwear under his new Auburn Tigers blanket climbed onto the recliner with Granma. Forget the movie Benny and I were watching. There was an adorable little redhead cuddling with me that wanted to talk. As I sat stroking his hair I couldn’t help but remember similar moments with his daddy. Replace the red hair with blonde, the green-blue eyes with sky blue and erase the freckles and you’ll know why Joshua Junior (JJ) is the perfect name for this little man.
Yet before long I will be looking up to him. Yes, it will happen faster than I think. I learned that from his father. He’s already getting lanky and calling guys “Dude.” It’s just a matter of time before I hear he’s got a crush on a girl or he’s wanting to show me his just-acquired driver’s license.
Getting old is hard in many ways. Sometimes I feel frumpy and unattractive. I can’t keep as many plates spinning as I used to. I can too frequently describe people to a tee but can’t remember their names. I ask Benny to hand me that…um…”metal thing with rounded spokes that I use to stir things fast when I don’t want to get out the mixer” before the word whisk meanders into my brain . Aches and pains linger and sleep evades.
But aging has some amazing perks. I get to play duck, duck goose and Candy Land again. Make bubble baths and convince little ones it’s time to get out when little fingertips get wrinkled. Listen to slowly spoken words of new readers who couldn’t wait to show Granma how smart they are. Get to use the small wooden table and chairs that still bear paint marks and scratches put there by their mommies and daddies. Pray for young hearts to be softened to their need for a Savior.
And snuggle with an underwear clad, freckle faced boy who thinks hanging out with Granma on New Years Eve is cool.
How many years will it be till spending time with friends means less time with me? When will he stop offering to talk about whatever comes to mind and make me work hard to ask just the right question to unlock his thoughts? Will he someday find time at Granma’s something he’s expected to do rather than gets to do?
Until these questions are answered I will just enjoy the gift of having Little People in my life.
I sure am happy I can still remember their names.
Kayla, Wyatt, Annie, Danae, JJ, Elsie, Ellie, Sam, Issac, Josiah and Amelia: I’m looking forward to another year of snuggles. And I’m hoping that Granma’s is a place you’ll always want to come. Even when you’re big, no longer want to take bubble baths with your cousins, and would rather be just about anywhere else but my house on New Years Eve, I want you to know that time with you is pretty much my favorite thing to do.
Well, except for getaways with Papa.