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Walking with Grandpa

Walking with Grandpa

In just the blink of an eye, my granddaughter has jumped from one to two. A year ago she was still more baby than little girl. Now, we really enjoy our time together, my pint-sized sidekick and I. We both like walking at a steady pace; watching the rain and listening to thunder; observing bunnies, butterflies and birds; watering the plants in the garden; reading; playing with puzzles; coloring and painting. She enjoys any song I’m willing to sing. She laughs at every silly thing I can think to say. We are both excited when she learns something new. Everything she does seems interesting to me and vice versa: I think she even enjoys helping me dust and fold the laundry!

Like any two-year old, of course, she has burgeoning ambitions to manage not only her own life, but also those around her. Since the day she was born, her desires have been of paramount importance to her Grandpa and me. Now, she knows it — and is developing into a master of manipulation.

“Lay on the floor, Grandpa,” she directs.

“Not right now, Grandpa is too tired for that,” he answers.

She turns up her face with an angelic smile. “Pweeeease?” she intones ever so sweetly. Good grief, how could anyone resist that face? Who could say no to such a polite and ardent request? Her expectant look tells us that she knows the full extent of her power and that of the magic word, “please.” Either of us would lie down in front of a bus for her, but hard as it is, we also know we mustn’t spoil her too much.

Somehow I’ve managed to remain steadfast in my dedication to the principle that “no means no.” For now, however, she doesn’t ask for much that I don’t want to or can’t give. I rarely need to deny her anything. “Does your Grandma spoil you?” I ask. Without hesitation she nods affirmatively. Little does she know she is such an easy child the spoiling goes both ways.

I’m thrilled that our relationship has grown to the point that she is just as excited to see her grandparents, as we are to see her. “My Grandma!” she shouts as she runs to greet me. “Where’s Papa?” she asks next.

“You hold her,” she says when she wants to be scooped up in my arms. Nothing feels better than her arms around my neck. I would never say no to a hug or a cuddle. I know that I will love her just as much in the next and every stage to come, but still feel a pang for stages left behind.

Today is her second birthday, so I’m feeling even more sentimental than usual. Happy Birthday, little princess! Your Grandma loves you more than words can say!