I have seven grandchildren; six grandsons and one granddaughter. The six eldest are now teenagers ranging in age from 17 to 13. Our youngest grandson turned 5 this past July.
When the six older grandchildren were little, I started calling them all Roy, including our granddaughter. I told them I was doing this in case I became forgetful as I got older and couldn't remember their names. The boys thought it was hilarious that I also called our granddaughter Roy.
The fun thing was that when all the grandkids were at the house and playing outside I would just yell Roy and they would all come running, laughing like crazy. I thought of it as something special between us. When our youngest grandson was born he was known as Little Roy.
Something else I always did with my grandchildren was to randomly ask them "who loves you". Their answers were always "you do". I realized the other day, after a conversation with my youngest grandson that I haven't asked that question of my teenage grandchildren in a long time.
I will have to remedy that.
I have never seen myself as a very demonstrative person. I always knew my parents loved me but I don't ever remember hearing the words. Saying "I love you" is not always easy for me. With age comes wisdom and I'm working on that, consciously saying the words especially to those who are important to me. I don't want them to assume like I did, I want them to hear the words and know they are loved.
Unfortunately old habits and patterns are difficult to break and my most recent reminder came from Texas.
Hubby's cousin Patsy moved back home with her husband, Len. They are two very kind, thoughtful and caring people.
Patsy's mother, Aunt Marian, was such a loving, kind, thoughtful woman who loved freely and shared that love with everyone. The first time I visited Aunt Marian and her family as a young bride, I remember feeling so uncomfortable. They were not the cause of my discomfort, it was something within me. You see, Aunt Marian and her family hugged each other just leaving and entering a room. "I love you's" were said like "hello's" and you knew they were genuine. Aunt Marian was always telling someone "you're so special", "you're wonderful", or "you make me so happy".
Patsy reminds me of her Mom and has also reminded me that the words are just as important as the actions.
The other day Little Roy was riding along with me as I drove to finish my last errand, and as always he talked about everything. The changing colors of the trees, the shapes and colors of the clouds, what his brothers did, how he cracked his Mom's cell phone and was grounded.
We were chatting along and I asked him "who loves you".
"You do" was his immediate reply. He then started talking about how he won't be going to kindergarten because he doesn't like school and his next question was "Grandma, will you love me when I get big"?
"Of course I will" I told him, "just like I love your older cousins".
"Will you love me when I get older" I asked him.
"Grandma, you're already old" he calmly told me.
"Yes, I know I'm old but hopefully I'll get older. If my hair turns white and I get wrinkles (luckily he let that go by), will you love me then" I asked him.
"Yep" was his short and sweet answer.
He changed the subject to where we were going next and we talked about that; one question leading to ten more.
"Will you love me forever, Grandma" he asked out of the blue.
"Yes I will" I told him.
"Forever is a long time Grandma" he reminded me.
"Yes, I know. That's exactly how long I'll love you".
Three little words, so very important to say.
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