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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 . . .­­­­
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