What have you missed?

“Be in today.”

“Be in the moment.”

“Be where your feet are.”

I heard those words in a book discussion about gratitude at my church. (We read Grateful by Diana Butler Bass.)

I heard them at a retreat for women in recovery.

And as part of a discussion about living life on life’s terms.

So I decided to try it.

Over pizza with 2 grandchildren at The Best Pizza In Town place (that’s what they call it), I learned from Adaline, then 8 and starting 3rd grade, that geckos can lick their eyes. You know the little guy on Geico commercials? That’s a gecko. Here’s a picture.  No, I’m not sure how she knows that, but her mom used to be a zookeeper and they talk about animals a lot, so I believe her. I love hearing the thoughts that go through the minds of my grandchildren.  If I’m “in the moment” I don’t miss anything.

I spent 4 years at UNC Chapel Hill. I walked past a statue of a guy with a gun called Silent Sam dozens if not hundreds of times. All I ever knew about the statue was what I was told at orientation–he fires his gun if a virgin walks by. (It was the early 1970’s. We thought that was funny. I have evolved.)

I didn’t know until Confederate statues became a news item that Silent Sam was erected in 1913 in honor of UNC alumni who died in the Civil War. The dedication speech was given by Julian Carr, a prominent industrialist, UNC alumnus, former Confederate soldier, and the largest single donor towards the construction of the monument. He urged his audience “to devote themselves to the maintenance of white supremacy with the same vigor that their Confederate ancestors had defended slavery.”

How could I not know that?? I never stopped to notice. Or ask.

When Adaline started kindergarten 4 years ago, I was so excited for her. I loved school. I felt safe and i enjoyed learning. I wished for her the same. I was horrified a few weeks later when her mother described the active shooter drill her class practiced that day. Adaline had her own special cupboard to climb into and hide in. All of my grandchildren are in elementary school now. I guess all three of them have active shooter drills just like they have fire drills. I wonder what the teachers call those active shooter drills.

I read about Kevlar book bags. Kevlar is what they use to make bullet-proof vests for police officers. This company, Bullet Blocker, makes “School Safety Solutions.” My first thought was, “Wouldn’t that be heavy?” My second thought was to be shocked that I wasn’t shocked. I can’t imagine explaining to a 6 or 8 year old child the need for a heavy, bullet-proof backpack.

How do we teach a child who is fascinated by a gecko’s long tongue about the world she lives in?

One moment at a time, I think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 18, 2019 at 6:24 pm  Comments (4)  
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What do you want for the rest of your life?

I want to be present wherever I am. Not checked out. Not shut down. Not drifting by.

I want to feel the feelings that surface through the day. I want to know what I’m feeling. I want to feel fully.

I want to have enough energy to do the things that help me be present: enough to exercise, enough to complete tasks, enough to be creative, enough to feed myself–nutritionally, spiritually and emotionally.

I want to stay connected to my daughters–not interfering and not staying too detached.

I want to have fun with my grandchildren, I want to be present every moment I’m with them. I want them to know me and want to be with me.

I want to remember gratitude.

I want to be healthy enough to be present to other people, to be able to listen to them. Listening, really listening, is a gift I can give.

I want to remember that God is always present, that I am never alone.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on September 27, 2019 at 11:13 am  Comments (2)  
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I Love Being Amma

I last posted original writing on this blog a year and a half ago. In that year and a half I had one medical issue after another–surgeries, infection, medication side effects, changes in my arthritis treatment, depression, and midway through all of it we downsized from our big house to a 3 bedroom apartment. Now I have days with little pain, no stairs and plenty of energy.

I am grateful.

And ready to focus on the world around me, not on myself.

My grandchildren, Adaline, Maggie, and Atticus have kept me going through all this time. They are 8, 6, and 6 (cousins, not twins). They’re all in public school  and thriving.

Let me tell you a story that shows why they could make me laugh (SUCH good medicine) when nothing much could.

One day last year, they were all here at our place with Adaline and Atticus’s mom. Atticus was in the living room playing with these discs you build stuff with (Brain Flakes) and the girls asked if they could go back in the guest room and play on the computer. The retired man I live with got them going and we adults were able to sit and converse for a while.

The girls were giggling–how nice they were having fun together! They called Atticus back to see something. Even nicer, right? They were all laughing in a way that caught my daughter’s and my attention. “Maybe we should check on them, she said.” She went back and called to us.

We all 6 huddled around the computer. I started giggling along with the kids. Adaline and Atticus’s mom tried not to. Grandpa Mike was kind of horrified but laughing at the same time.

Adaline, who was 7 and in 1st grade was learning to spell phonetically. So she googled “poop,” a favorite topic of conversation for all 3 kids. They found “The Poopy Song” on You Tube. (click The Poopy Song.)

I guess I have a very immature sense of humor. I thought it was hilarious. My daughter tried to get them to stop it. I wanted to hear the whole thing. 2 more of their parents came in shortly after. Maggie’s dad is much more proper than the rest rest of us. We all took them back to see it.

Now 8 of us huddled around the computer and watched it. Maggie’s mom didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, I think, and kept checking for Maggie’s dad’s reaction. I’m not sure he could breathe. He really was appalled, but realized he was outnumbered and left the room.

I LOVE being a grandparent.

(Update 7-27-2018: At our house today they found another giggle-inducing song about farting. Let One Go, based on the Frozen song “Let It Go.” They could be finding worse.)

Published in: on July 27, 2018 at 9:50 am  Comments (2)  
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