Anybody out there ever want to just go back and just be a child again? Anybody out there want to just play with the kid next door and watch TV and go to movies and not to have to do much more work than just setting the table for dinner? Well, there are times when I would like to have none of the huge responsibilities I have now – to just be able to sleep late and go to bed early and spend the day coloring or reading or just goofing around with my friends – but, to tell the truth, I don’t want to go back and do it all again. I didn’t much like the childhood years so I don’t want to do them again – but I sure would like to be able to do some child-like things.
Notice I didn’t say “childish things.” That would be things like grabbing my brother’s Blackberry from him because I’m older and I should have one if he does. Actually, we all have Blackberrys (my sister, my brother, and I) so I would probably cut him some slack, as long as he’d take me for a ride on his Harley and make me a free car magnet to advertise my book.
I would like to do things like go off for the weekend with my grandmother to see Emmett Otter (the Muppet play) and spend the night in a motel where we would stay up late playing computer games and watching funny videos she gets every day in her email. Actually, truth be told, I’d really like to have had a grandmother who would like to go to a play like Emmett Otter but that’s only something I can dream about because my grandmother is long gone and now I’m a grandmother with the opportunity to make memories with my grandchildren.
So, did I mention that this weekend I’m taking my granddaughter to see Emmett Otter at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam Connecticut? Did I tell you that I’m taking my laptop so we can play Adventures in New York, our favorite hidden object game, and that I have a ton of little funny videos on my laptop for us to laugh at together? Oh, and guess what else we’re doing? We’re getting pedicures on Saturday mornings and then we’ll have lunch and see the play at 2 pm. After that we’re off for home by way of the local outlet mall where I plan for us to do some serious Christmas shopping.
Am I a good grandmother or what? Well, that’s part of the reason for these great plans – but if you want to know the truth, I am more excited about our trip than she is. I can’t wait to spend quality time with her – just the two of us. And I totally love the muppets, I love “sleeping over” in a motel, playing computer games, watching funny videos, and pedicures are just the best! So, while I do love making memories with my granddaughter, I also love being able to do all the “child-like” things she is getting to do – and – I will have some very precious memories as well.
So, while I really am a good grandmother, I am also a complete hedonist when it comes to my grandchildren. The more time I get to spend with them, the more time I want to spend with them and I’ll do most anything they want to do and that’s not just because I want to be with them – I love doing the same things! Like movies – I loved Madagascar II and one of the few movies I have ever watched more than once is “Ice Age” and we’ve all seen it at least 20 times! I love cartoons and I love to laugh, but more than that, I love to teach my grandchildren to laugh and give them as many opportunities as possible to laugh and to do as many fun things as I can find for them to do so they will have great stories to tell their own children someday – stories about what a crazy and fun great-grandmother they had. Of course, the past tense assumes that I won’t be around to show them myself and that will probably be the case – but one can hope!
So here’s what I think about all this – “once a child, always a child.” That doesn’t mean that we can or should live like a child and neglect our adult responsibilities – it just means that we should never, ever lose the ability to play like a child, laugh like a child, and love like a child. If you have trouble holding on to that, write me – I’ll be glad to help you find ways to recapture your childlike memories or to make some new ones – maybe with someone you love who would love to share them too. I’ll let you know how we liked Emmett Otter!