The Sting and the Joy

by Joan Houghton

What a treat when my daughter’s daughter came to visit with HER two daughters. However, one must  learn to accept questions and barbs with grace and dignity and  exhibit no visible shock. 

Four-year-0ld Lydia came running down the long hall to greet me with a huge smile and hug, followed by her 2-year-old sister, Colette, scurrying as she tried to control dragging  her 3-foot-long “blankie” behind her on the floor.

Their conversation is HONEST , forthcoming, and BRUTALLY FRANK.   How refreshing!

Lydia: “Grandma, why is your hair so white?”

Great Grandma: “It’s because I’m old”.

Lydia: “ I don’t want to have white hair when I’m old.”

GG: “I didn’t either and in fact I tried to have it colored; but that did not work out well.  In fact, it came

out  in various colors: sort of greenish with an orange cast, so I gave up.  Now I am used to the white”.

Lydia: “Oh, I wouldn’t like that”.

GG.” Don’t worry. You won’t have to have white hair if you don’t want to.”

Lydia.  “Ok”.

Later, Colette entered the conversation as we were enjoying sandwiches.  She looked me square in the eye with  a mischievous  huge smile and  an impish look in her eyes and said, “ I’m mad at you!”  I was sort of taken aback, as I could think of nothing that had  provoked  her comment.……. almost immediately, she recanted.   Whew!!!

Still later after the toy box had been perused, including a few books, puzzles, ( and a ball—please do not throw  it in the house!) there was another question to answer.

Lydia, studying my face: “Grandma, is that lipstick on your mouth?”

I admitted that it was.  She liked that and thought that the next  time she came we should play with some lipstick.  I agreed—-at the same time I realized that her mother probably seldom wore lipstick since she needed no beauty enhancement.

As I walked the dear threesome out to their car,  I was just enveloped in love  and a great thankfulness for having the privilege to visit with great grandchildren.   Their forthright honesty, charm and innocence are a true blessing.  I wish those traits could continue forever.  Perhaps they will.

Then, as their car pulled away  amidst  a flurry of waves and kisses good-bye, I looked down and there was a puddle of cheerios in their wake.  Suddenly, that brought me back to the reality of the “everydayness”   and “neediness” of little children.  Parents are remarkable in their steadfast love  and care for their little ones.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Alissa
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 15:39:39

    I love this story, Grandma. I have printed it out for both of the girl’s baby books. 🙂


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