Smelling the Roses

Smell Of The RosesSome of my most enjoyable moments come from spending time with my grandchildren and some of their day to day lives that I just didn’t do, or do enough of, when I was in the parenting mode. I guess I was too busy, or thought I was, or thought that I had plenty of time but never got around to it.

Susan and I go to visit them out of town about 4 or 5 times a year. Each time, I try to incorporate going to their schools and having lunch with them in the school cafeteria. Since I have had 4 grandchildren so far in the same elementary school, I am pretty well known there by the teachers, caf staff and the principal. I get a good chance to get a progress report and on occasion with the little ones, I get to sit in and watch their lessons. A few times I have done a slide show of recent trips for the children in their respective classes, which is always well received.

I have a long standing tradition of joining them for lunch in school. I sit at their table with their classmates and provide our grands with baseball cards to hand out to the boys in their class and sea shells to the girls. I guess you would say I am known by their friends for doing so. Many times, as I walk into the cafeteria, these little darlings would run up and ask if I brought these treats with me. I help with learning their spelling words, lines in a play or the computer. I talk about when their Dad was young (they love the stories that he was a kid too), when I was young (you didn’t have a computer? Or an Ipod even?), when their great grandparents were young (they didn’t have a tv? they listened to radio outside of the car?) and what life was like in those days. I talk about what their lives can be like in the future, recall fondly the times I spent together at their house, on their rare visits to our house, and at our summer beach vacations together. I verify that what they value the most is not the gifts or toys but the times I spend together. I play pick up sticks, cards, open packs of baseball cards and play tea party and kitchen. You know, they think it is fun even if there are no electronics involved! I spot blue jays and robins and new buds on the trees. I explore for horseshoe crabs and broken shells on the beach during our summer walks. I go to book stores and read children’s books to each other and don’t have to buy anything.

I find that these are the best times in life and cannot get enough of them. It is part of the magic of having a second chance. Here’s hoping that starting this Spring you take the time to smell the roses (tulips, crocuses and daffodils too) and watch them grow.

Written by Attorney Irving Hymson,

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