My friend’s mother always remembers to buy thoughtful gifts
for my grandchildren and, this Christmas, she gave them a kit so they could make a gingerbread man and also one which was to construct and decorate a
gingerbread house. She asked me to pass it along to them and said that she
knew that I was the kind of nanna that would take the time to make these things
with them. To be honest, I can’t imagine a nanna who wouldn’t make time to do such
fun stuff with their grandkids and I certainly was not going to miss out on
such an adventure!
We started on the gingerbread man first, I squeezed the
icing on it and my granddaughters applied the lollies. We were all very
impressed with our effort – it looked like a bought one!
Next came the gingerbread house and all of us were a little intimidated
with how complex it looked but we decided that it was going to be unique to us
and, as long as we had fun making it, then everything would be all right.
After a few issues with some of the lollies and decorations
falling off and having to be restuck with the supplied icing, we had managed to
decorate our gingerbread house and it looked fine! I think we were all a bit
shocked that we had managed to churn out such a professional looking house and
that we were not going to have to make any excuses for how it looked – it was
something to be proud of.
I took photos of our masterpiece and have since shown them to others who are
also rather amazed that such a motley crew managed to construct such a
visionary delight. Of course, I don’t eat things with gluten in them if I can
help it so I won’t be getting a taste but, considering how pretty it looks, I
don’t think I would like to be the one to start munching on it.
Taking moments like this to interact with your grandkids are
some of the best times. There are so many things that can take your attention –
from things that seem urgent or even the plodding along of normal stuff like
housework etc, can get in the way of just being there for your grandkids.
When we were parents, we were so busy trying to balance everything
– trying to earn enough, trying to establish our careers, trying to keep house,
to forge relationships and to find time to learn about the self that many of us
did not make the time to spend with our kids. Oh, we made the right excuses to
ourselves and justified why we did not have time to read that bedtime story or
play that make believe game, but deep down we know that we may have made a bad
trade from time to time.
That is where the joy of being a grandparent can really come
to the fore. Wisdom is something that has to be earned and being able to
reflect on past choices can help us to make better choices today. It is not
just your grandkids that are worth you spending time with, it is the inner
child in you that also deserves a break from the stresses of being responsible
all the time – allowing yourself to play, innocently enjoying the make believe
world that children inhabit can help bring everything back into a healthy
perspective and allows us to move forward confidently. By realising that we are
responsible for our own happiness, we can actively do things to help make that
happen, and that gives us our power.
Of course, that helps us to pass on our hard earned wisdom
to our grandbabies . . . in the bite sized bits that they can assimilate into
their own lives.
How strange that I managed to tie all of this in with some
gingerbread . . .