My six-year-old grandson Jackson came bursting into my bedroom after sleeping over early Sunday morning. Unlike his grandmother who wakes up slowly, he inherited his grandfather’s biological clock, and from the moment he opens his eyes, he hits the ground running.
The last thing he says every time before he falls asleep is exactly what he wants for breakfast: bagels with eggs, bacon and fresh fruit on the side! (It’s the exact same thing every weekend!). There’s a special place in my heart for that little boy, but I bet every grandmother feels the exact same way about theirs. Grandchildren are the best thing ever, even better than anything I’d ever heard about them from friends who were blessed with theirs first.
They “ALMOST” make up for the sleep deprivation experienced when raising babies, endless childhood situations and countless discussions associated with teenagers all parents endure. I said, ALMOST. But now that I have six of my own grandchildren, I totally get it! There just aren’t any words special enough to express those feelings. When it comes to talking about them, my off button is broken.
That morning I heard him running down the hallway, as fast as his little legs could go, frantically yelling my name. The simple memory of this scenario puts a smile on my face. A six-year-old’s emergency is by far my favorite kind. I couldn’t wait to hear what was so urgent.
As soon as he exploded through the bedroom door, I smelled the seductive waves of bacon cooking in the kitchen Now I ask you, smelling bacon and hearing your grandson running down the hallway in order to get to me as quickly as possible, does life get any better than that? He ran straight over to my side of my bed with his arms flapping in the air like a baby hummingbird. And it never ceases to amaze me what he says next.
This morning he asked, “ Wouldn’t today be a great day for a miracle?” What did I tell you, did any of you see that coming? When I was growing up, a TV show called, “Kids say the darndest things!” was very popular, and I can assure you it’s the truth.
Up until the moment, he asked that I didn’t even know he knew what miracles were. I agreed with him wholeheartedly. Well, can any of you think of a bad time for a miracle? As soon as he heard my answer, he turned. With the precision of a squared-away military man, and ran back towards the door he had just come bounding through.
All of sudden he stopped dead in his tracks, looked over his shoulder and added, “That way grandpa won’t have to cut up an apple for you anymore.” Allow me to explain exactly what was going on here. I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis). I was waiting in the bedroom for Andrew to cut up an apple that he was going to bring me. Jackson and his sister Julianna were out in the kitchen with him as he was cooking them breakfast.
He asked Andrew if he could have something, and Grandpa told him “I will get it for you as soon as I cut this apple up for Grandma.” The innocence of his mind going from a miracle to the practicality of what he wanted was so real and honest it left me treasuring this moment forever.
How I wish adults had the same ability as young children to embrace the idea of miracles, and accept reality all in the same breath. I know this special little boy I have been lucky enough to call my grandson is so kind, loving and always wanting to make sure I am ok.
There’s a mixed bag of emotions when you’re the one needing assistance. Due to my MS diagnosis in 1995, that never made me feel good. It has taken me years to realize what the gift is in this. Here’s my take on it: before my MS I was a professional volunteer. I volunteered for a number of different charities at the same time. I’ve visited children in hospitals, meals on wheels and was at the dog therapy department for Hartford Hospital and Children’s Hospital.
Like I said I was a professional volunteer woman. The thing I learned about volunteering is it’s addictive. I never helped without feeling happy. I’m very thankful that when my children were younger I was able to be a stay-at-home Mom. As they reached an age where they were busy with sports and afterschool activities and I had more time on my end, I used the extra time to volunteer and help others. And I still do!