Adventures in grand parenting began this week! It is an honor and delight to be entrusted with a precious angel. When Grammy is part clown and part calamity, the challenge is real. Three rules that are ever present in my mind are: 1. NEVER leave the baby unattended. 2. Do NOT multitask while holding the baby. 3. Hold and hug the baby as much as she likes. Spoiling my grand daughter is the ultimate goal. After years of what my daughters might describe as strict discipline and high expectations for them, I now get to be the model for frolic and fun.
Day three of daytime duty with Lilliana did result in my first casualty. We were strolling down the sidewalks that had trees providing a bit of shade. Finally, it occurred to me that Lilliana should be facing away from the eighty degree sunshine. The stroller with all its warning signs did not have a handle that flips, so I turned the whole vehicle around and I pushed the stroller from the back, with the forward wheels nipping at my feet. At the first street crossing I stubbed my little toe on the wheel. Sounds minor, but it really smarted so I stopped to rub it. Sweet baby girl squawked to get the wheels rolling, so onward I hobbled around the block to hear her coo once again. When we returned home she was sound asleep. I filled a bowl with ice water for a foot soak. Ahhhh. My pinky toe still turned purple and is throbbing a bit.
This painful incident reminds me that we cannot protect our children from all the pain they will experience in their lives; from skinned knees and tummy aches to disappointment and heart aches. Life is full of pain. We try to fight the agony, medicate it and ignore it with little success. Sometimes misery leads to drastic measures to alleviate it. Some of the side effects are addictions, accidents and tragedy. Finding a healthy answer to manage our hurts requires patience and rest to allow the mind and body to heal. In extreme cases, we need professional help. Doctors, Pastors and Counselors are better equipped to manage illness when we can no longer cope on our own. We cannot wish or pray away the torment people feel when they are angry or grieving. We must recognize the dangers of emotional pain and respond with radical compassion.
I write this while baby cakes is snoozing in her swing and my foot is elevated. It is impossible for me to nap while processing the violent events in the State of Florida where my children live. I am not afraid for their future even though it seems there is no safe place. It makes me angry that I cannot protect them, but I know that God has them covered until they have completed their purpose on earth. If you have any wise and creative ideas for action against violence and the agony it causes; please post them and add the hashtag #AngerintoAction. Maybe we can join together to prevent the needless side effects.
Next time I stroll, I will wear my old steel toed work boots for protection. Flip flops in Florida seemed reasonable, but were in fact foolish. I hope one day Lilliana will appreciate my silliness, and be the one to push my wheelchair when I am very old.