I have three amazing grand daughters. Each has her own view of life, her own world of wonderment that I'm fortunate to share in. Seeing this crazy Universe through their eyes gives me no end of pleasure. I would rather spend time talking to each of them about anything at all than to spend time with any celebrity or famous figure.
So it was very painful indeed when I realized that I would no longer be able to walk one of them to school anymore because she now rides the bus to a middle school a few miles away.
For her it's exciting. New friends, new teachers, a new school, riding the bus and another whole Universe of new ideas to learn. Worlds are opening their doors to her. It's an amazing time. I remember it well, even today, some fifty years later.
For the past few years I've walked the two blocks to her house and then walked her to school. Hand in hand, rain or shine. Her hands, so incredibly small and delicate. Her face bright and constantly looking around as we avoided puddles or mud from the recent rain.
I looked forward to those words every morning. Even when I was anxious about work or something awry in my life, those words always brought my world back into focus. That moment of walking in the door to those words is the best heart medicine there is.
We had a routine of sorts. We would make sure she had all her school work. Check. Had snacks for the day. Check. Kiss mommy good bye. Check! I would tell her Grandma says 'Have a good day' and she would say, 'OK'. And then we were out the door.
On the way to school we discussed spelling words. Or maybe a problem in math or other subject. WE did math tables for a whole year. Like me, she struggled with math. Sometimes it was a school yard social disaster. But most of the time it was admiring the live oaks in the school yard, how their arms are so strong and beautiful.
Our favorite subject was creating animal schools. Squirrel School Elementary, Robin High and Stink Bug University. What subjects to Bunnies take? Carrot Cake baking or jumping rope. Kid stuff.
I still have wonderful talks with her, but the morning walks are gone. The joy of starting a new day with that beautiful, creative little mind have passed me by and I'm the poorer for it.
Pay attention to your children, parents. Bring out the world for them. Live in the moment with them. It all fades away much, much too soon.