Reading to Children
When I was quite young, my grandmother would come to visit a couple of times a year from Illinois. She would come on the train and we would go get her in the old Hudson. Some of my fondest memories of her were of her reading to us. There is a picture of three of us kids sitting on her lap and on the arms of the chair, while she would read. What precious memories. Now, I am the grandmother. Some of my favorite things to do with my grandchildren are reading to them, going for walks, and movies, and sitting through thunderstorms with candles and telling ghost stories. I feel hopeful that they will have memories after I am gone that can come close to the memories I have of my grandmother.
Because of my close relationship with my grandmother, I understand the importance of them. Grandmothers don’t have to do the disciplining, or the correcting. They just love you to death, and make days and evenings special. They don’t boss you around, make you do chores, or require anything of you. They just love you. Parents have the hard job. They have to clothe, feed, correct, punish, do homework, break up fights, and all those things that parents are required to do. But as grandmothers, we get a break. We just get to love them, and leave all that other stuff to their parents.
I love this picture of my granddaughter, Lulu and myself. We are reading Rapunzel. It is one of her favorite books and is beautifully illustrated. Every time we read it she tries to find some small feature in the illustrations that she might have missed before, and because it is one of the most impressively illustrated children’s books I’ve ever seen, it is forever disclosing some small detail that was overlooked, like the tiny nose of a possum sticking out from under a bush or a little flower that hadn’t been noticed.
I wonder if she will always suck her thumb and hold on to that ragged quilt that I made her when she was born.
I am very fortunate to have my four grandchildren, all with their different personalities, strengths and abilities. They are each a treasure to be sure, as I am sure any other grandmother will attest.
Take time, always, to spend time with them. Take them one at a time and do something special that costs no money. Just sharing your time with them is the gift. My grandmother died when she was almost 101. I still think of her, and have pictures of her around my house. She was a beautiful gift and I am grateful that she was mine. I cannot think of one material gift she gave me, but I remember the most important gift of all…she gave me herself. And that was a treasure indeed.
Many blessings to all grandmothers,
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