I discovered a delightful aspect of post-retirement grandparenthood this week: the contentment of living in the moment. During the three full days I spent with my granddaughter, I had no desire to accomplish anything beyond an enjoyment of her imagination and play while she shared with me the wonder and opportunity to be found in empty plastic bottles.
Time flowed peacefully around us as Jet, my 21-month old granddaughter played. She put the lids on and off the bottles. She added a block inside to make a shaking noise. She imagined baby-food jars and fed her doll. She imagined food for herself, the dog and me. She made rhythms by clicking bottles together. She watched the effects of gravity and friction as they rolled on various surfaces. She discovered that the lid of one bottle would not fit on the other bottles. She pretended to drink from them. She learned that a lid might get stuck when applied at a bad angle and she learned to ask her grandma politely for help.
On Monday we watched from the window as a representative from AT&T climbed a pole in the back yard. Jet couldn’t see properly from my bedroom window, so I opened the blind, removed the lamp and alarm clock and let her stand on the top of the nightstand. The man waded through the snow and climbed a very tall ladder. We took all the time we wanted to enjoy the show.
On Tuesday Jet wanted to look out the window just in case the technician had come back. She tripped over an airfoil under the window to direct the heat out into the room. It came apart in two pieces. Jet was devastated. “Broke it!” she wailed. “You broke it?” I asked gently as she came running to my side. She took my hand and pulled. “Gamma FIX it!” she demanded. It was the first time she had used “grandma” as my name, and I felt giddy with pleasure of hearing it. Luckily, the airfoil was easy to reassemble.
On Wednesday she helped me take my laundry out of the dryer. “Would you like to help me fold the clothes?” I asked. “Yes!” she said, as she led the way to my bed. I lifted her up. She grabbed an armful of warm shirts, arranged them over her body, lay back on the pillow and called for the dog to snuggle with her. I smiled as I joined the party. We had plenty of time.