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  SUPPORT
Suzy Smith
4/24/2006
     
In her lecture on aging, (see March blog) Dr. Margaret prescribed a support group as essential for successful aging. Our collective minds all thought about those friends in our lives who share our joys and woes and congratulated ourselves. Yes, our support is in place.

But, as I watch my recently widowed sister move about in her drastically changed world, I realize support is not limited to those friends we hold dear, it comes from all sorts of unexpected places. Pay attention, youíll find them. When you do, youíll realize there are lots of things in your life from which you draw strength, things that are, if you will, support.

Like my Sunday mornings at my local farmerís market. Sure, I fill my wheeled cart wth lots of great stuff. That draws me. But the scene is so colorful, the food displays, the people enjoying themselves, families with children gathered around todayís performer or seated on the balloon manís little stools while he twists his balloons into unlikely shapes. I look on and share their delight. Itís an innocent sharing of our humanity without having to exchange a word. Support comes from being part of a bigger picture. Weíre all in this together.

On the hill across my little valley, there is a venerable old oak. I open my eyes each morning and turn my head to see if from my window. A morning ritual. It nurtures me. Presiding over itís surroundings year after year, itís presence says something about strength and endurance. It experiences loss and rebirth in an ongoing rhythm always standing strong. Despite what I am going to read in todayís newspaper when I get out of bed, this oak reminds me it is an incredibly beautiful world we live in. Support is where you chose to find it.
 

         
   

   

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  EASTER MEMORIES
Suzy Smith
4/17/2006
     
The house is so quiet. All those squeals of delight, the running feet, Daddy repeatedly saying, "DONāT RUN" ( words totally ignored) the bags of found eggs full to overflowing, the happiness of it all - it's all yesterday's news - except in my heart which is full to overflowing.

As we set the Easter scene in the house yesterday, while it insisted on raining heavily outside, I thought about the memories we were creating for those children. What would they remember? Surely none of the details we had so carefully orchestrated, but, hopefully, they absorbed all the love that went into the planning. Those are the feelings we want them to carry into adulthood.

But why are THEIR memories so important to me? Yep, I confess, I want to be remembered fondly and work to make that happen. But what I'm forgetting - THEY ARE MAKING MEMORIES FOR ME, and, oh my, what precious ones they are!

     
   

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  EASTER
Suzy Smith
4/14/2006
     
We get to do Easter again this year! For the past several years, the children have been away on spring vacation and there has been no one to hunt eggs in our garden. I can hardly wait. There is nothing more adorable than those little ones (not so little anymore) with their bags in hand, gleefully running the boundaries of the hunt, squealing with delight when they find an egg. Ry is chief egg hiding person, the bunny if you will. He is very clever with his hiding places, they make you laugh when you spot an egg in places that are delightfully silly.

We hunt plastic eggs, lots of them. The number is more important than their beauty as we want the hunt to go on forever, it is a time of sheer joy. That is until someone discovers, when it's all over, YOU found more eggs than I did. Ah the thorn in the rose, must there always be a dark side?

I made the collecting bags years ago, wonderful, opaque bags that came from a fancy store holding something I purchased. Over the stores logo, I pasted a computer copy of one of my rabbit paintings with each child's name. We use them every year. The children like that, there is something about continuity that satisfies them. My Easter bag, always there, year after year at my Grandparent's house.

The baskets, the big prize, are full of silly stuff, bunny sunglasses, fuzzy chicks that peep when you rub them over the warmth of your palm, stuffed rabbits, tiny baskets full of candy etc. Our bunny chains will be there too. The contents of the basket hardly matter, it's just stuff to race through. The hunts the thing.

Happy memories being made. Isn't it incredible to be the one to make that happen?

Now if it will only stop raining!
 

     

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  PRAISING OUR GRANDCHILDREN
Suzy Smith
4/4/2006
     
Last week we went to see our Granddaughter in Alice in Wonderland, a charming childrenís musical. She was a toucan, wearing, as part of her costume, a beak that split her pretty face in half. She managed it well, the beak, I mean. I would have been cross-eyed and stumbling. Not Malia, she sang and danced into our hearts with the confidence and grace of a true thespian.

Before we went, I had been surfing the net to see who was writing what about Grandparenting. Everyone it seems has something to say about being a good grandparent. My mind was full of advice, particularly about not over doing your praise following a grandchildís performance. I have also been cautioned about this by my son who tells me he and his wife believe praise must be tempered with reality. The problem is, I want to sweep these grandchildren up in my arms, dance around the room and tell them YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL, THE BEST, THE BRIGHTEST, MY FAVORITES. That IS the reality.
 

                 

I'm with YOU!  It's a grandparent's right AND responsibility to praise their grandchildren to the utmost!  Let the parent's deal with "reality" if need be!
  
And whose reality is it, anyway?
  
Cheers from a Grandmother of "the other greatest grandchildren in the world"
  
Mere-mere

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