I believe we learn equally from the generations we follow and the ones we (and then they) bear. Those of us lucky enough to be sandwiched between multiple generations are the most fortunate learners of all.
So I knew, as I held my sweetly swaddled little granddaughter, that I wanted to teach her specific things — how to throw a perfect spiral, what a fresh curd should sound like when you first bite it, the redundancy of the word “oftentimes”, how to pronounce Chequamegon, that friendliness is a super power, how really important and inspiring it is to appreciate true talent in other people, how easy it is to be kind.
I had these thoughts. And, then I looked into those very serious blue eyes and I realized that our little peanut was the sensei and I her humble student.
I learned from that sweet little baby how exhilarating quiet moments can be. I held her so gratefully that time and other commitments and concerns fell away. And, that’s all I did. Multi-tasking can be overrated and some moments are so important you can’t afford to share them at all.
She reminded me how necessary human touch can be. We can’t go around swaddling each other (though that might be just the thing to solve some of this old world’s pain), but we can hug, shake hands, guide an elbow, pat a head. For such a long time, we huggers held back fearing we’d spread something terrible. Watching my granddaughter squish herself into warm human nooks, I realized we all need a little more snuggle time. From now on, if I feel a hug coming on, I’m going all in. You have been warned.
Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. I really think we could abandon all diet plans if we just remembered this. Eat when you’re hungry because you should listen to your body and because you really need the nutrition. But, stop when you’re full. Full stop. Turn away. And, eat without distraction so you can pay attention to what you’re eating and when you’ve had enough. She’s a hungry little peanut and she eats every two hours. But, she stops when she’s full and no amount of coaxing will get her to eat more than her tummy can handle. I admire that.
Eye contact drives communication. She is currently nearsighted but unabashed in her efforts to look directly into the eyes of whoever is lucky enough to hold her. I am going to look into eyes, and not just faces, more going forward. They’re deep and pleasant pools of information.
Know you are loved. My sister in-law and brother in-law signed every card to each other like that. KYAL. Know you are loved. She does and each day going forward she’s going to see how deeply and widely that love flows. It’s coming at her from coast to coast and, certainly, from the tight cocoon of her parents’ arms. She knows she is loved and I hope she remembers that as she moves through more difficult stages of her life.
I am so greatful for the time I got to spend with my brand new granddaughter and I can’t wait to see her again soon.