Monday, March 24, 2008

Awww and Awe

Easter was such a special time with all my grandchildren here. All four of them. Left me feeling warm and happy. Left me feeling life is truly special. Left me saying “Aww” and feeling ‘awe’.

The ‘Aww’ comes when I hold and look at my new grandson. Born at 28 weeks. Scared all of us half to death. But he came out wailing like babies are supposed to. And now he is six pounds and two months old, loves to show off how he can hold his own bottle and so cute, cuddly, and sweet. Amazingly he never cries as long as everyone responds to the ‘look’—that would be the tribal look that every one of our tribe members are so capable of when things are unsatisfactory.

Knitted brows, scrunched up forehead, eyes reflecting a composite of disgust and disappointment. He gives the ‘look’ then waits patiently for clean pants, a warm bottle, or a change of position. Then if nothing happens, he fusses and fumes, and moves his little hands to his face and squeezes his brows to intensify the look. Reluctant to cry when the look is generally sufficient.

And then there is my older grandson. What a character he is. He values friendships that are honest and just. So when his pre-school teacher told him about Jesus being God’s son and dying on the cross at Easter and rising again, in grandson’s practical mind, that was too much. I think he took it to be a joke but didn’t tell me so.

What he did tell me is that Jesus is God’s son. This was the part that he was able to relate to. The father and son connection. (Silly adults. Don’t realize that a five-year-old has no context for stories about death and resurrection and something called ‘sin’. That they can only interpret that part of a story that they have a context for.)

So after being told the Easter story, Grandson wrote a letter to Jesus and insisted his mom mail it to God, so they, meaning he and Jesus, could become friends. The letter said, “Dear Jesus. I like you very much. Can we be friends?”

Grandson wants to form a friendship so that he can eventually invite Jesus and his father over to our place. That’s how it works. And then when that happens, God and Grandpa can pull him and his new friend, Jesus, on the sled behind the quad and see which one goes faster. Grandpa can’t go as fast as Grandson would like cause Grandma complains.

God is a father, like his own father, and God has a son, just like him. As a father, however, God is very old so he is probably more like Grandpa than Grandson’s own father.

Everyone thinks God is bigger and better than his Grandpa, but Grandson spurns that suggestion. One needs to find out. How fast will God drive the quad with no one daring to complain about how fast he goes? It’s gonna be pretty hard for him to beat flying across the deep snow instead of sliding on it like happens when Grandpa gets in behind the house where Grandma cannot see them.

But I digress. What I really want to tell you more so than this trivia is how excited I am about Grandson’s yen to write stories. He told me he knew some magic. And the magic he explained to me is that he knows all his letters. And with those letters, he told me, he can make ALL words.

And with words, he told me, he can write sentences that say anything he wants to say.

“Did you know,” he asks, with his eyes so big and excited, “that I can do that if you help me spell the words? That’s all you need to do and I can explain anything, tell you anything.”

He runs to get a paper and pencil. “Now you help me,” he says, “and I will write a story.”

He writes me a funny little story about sleigh-riding with Grandpa. About him falling off the sleigh, his sister falling off the sleigh, and Grandpa falling off the quad. That last part was not true, but it was necessary to prevent anyone in the story looking more than, or less than, another.

And then in our conversation of rather simple words, I am stunned to hear him say something about ‘flexible’ as if it was a word he uses every day.

I didn’t realize it, at the time, but I guess Grandpa explained to him that the tow rope behind the quad had to be fixed rather than ‘flexible’ to avoid the sleigh from dog-tracking or slipping under the quad or side-ways into an icy snow-bank.

So just to be silly, I say to him, “ ‘Flexible’ is a pretty big word. Makes me think of another big word. The word is ‘inexplicable’. Do you know what that means?”

“What?” he asks, with head tipped and eyes intent on my face.

“It means,” I said, “something that cannot be explained. That words cannot be found to tell it.”

I had no idea the little storyteller-wordsmith would be so crushed by this bit of information. He gave me the tribal look of disappointment.

“I don’t like that word,” he said. “I don’t like it at all. Me? I can tell anything unless it is a secret. Like for your birthday or for Christmas. There is a way to tell everything. You just have to use the right words.”

And so, I say ‘Aww’ when I look at my new Grandbaby and feel an equal sense of awe at the elder Grandson’s incredible wisdom.


Later, I heard Grandson tell his Mom. “Know what, Mom? If something is ‘inexplicable’, you can’t explain it. That’s what that word means. You can’t, but I can!”


Anonymous said...

Grandson #2 is beautiful! What a sweetie. And, I hope you won't mind but I stole much of your story on Grandson #1 as a post because it's just so real and precious.


Roberta S said...

susan, I took a peek at your blog and I am absolutely flattered to have you share more of the perspectives in this story that give it that 'awe' factor.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Precious, precious baby boy....I'm sure you could barely take your arms and eyes off of him.

Your older grandson sounds like he's wise beyond his years Roberta...and not so unlike his Grandma. I guess you may have passed your writing gene down to that little one. Oh wouldn't you just love that. Thank you for sharing your family day with us....I just loved it.

Roberta S said...

Thanks, joy, for the cheery comment. I'm glad you found enjoyment in my Easter rant.

I can't deny that I love cuddling my newest grandson. He is a treasure. And how exciting it would be if my other grandson becomes the next generation's finest author.

Pauline said...

Not so inexplicably, Roberta's grandson becomes famous author - I can see the headlines now. Enjoy every hug and cuddle with those grandchildren.

Roberta S said...

pauline, thanks for that support to add to my sand castles of dreams that I still have at this juncture of my life -- even though they're not about me, they are about my grandchildren.

Dick said...

I'm with Grandson 2 on the God issue!

Roberta S said...

Hi dick. We've been friends long enough I am not shocked by that admission. In fact, I find it funny and rather endearing. (chuckle).

joared said...

You're so right about how children are sometimes flooded with language and concepts beyond their ken. Sounds like you have the makings of another storyteller in your family.

Roberta S said...

Hi joared. Nice to see you.

Give Grandson and me a couple more years (for him to expand his context on life) and maybe we'll co-edit some pretty phenomenal tales.