I’m always thinking about stuff like the good old days, the movie I watched last night, the devotional I read, some of the stupid things I did as a kid.
Today I was thinking about Brandon, my first grandchild and had to laugh because instead of calling me grandma or maw maw or any of the typical granny names, he called me Dee Dee. Maybe, because I was the youngest, in his mind I didn’t fit the typical granny image. Maybe He was confused about the role I played in his world, I don’t know. Whatever his reasons, he didn’t have an endearing, grandmotherly name for me. Just Dee Dee.
Brandon loved for me to tell him stories. In the car, at the mall, in the grocery store, on the porch swing . . . everywhere! All I’d hear is, “Tell me a story, Dee Dee! Tell me a story!”
Now, there’s just so many stories a granny can make up about the two of us riding on Mrs. Eagle’s back over the highest mountains or talking to Mr. Tree in the enchanted forest or creeping into a really dark, really spooky house looming deep in the woods. But if I didn’t come up with something he’d drive me crazy until I did. That’s the way it works for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet.
His most favorite story was when the two of us teamed up with Voltron and battled all the bad guys. We’d wield our shiny swords, conjure up our magic powers and fight till the bitter end. Then, we’d crawl into a cave where we’d regroup and plan out our next sneak attack.
Suddenly, in Brandon’s eyes, Voltron was no longer a plastic action figure. Voltron was his hero, the one who came to his rescue, who bandaged his wounds and killed all the bad guys. Never again would I be just plain old Dee Dee. I was Immortal. I was invincible. I was Dee Dee Voltron!
And after all those stories I had to conjure up, and all those battles I had to fight, I earned that title and wore it well . . . at least in Brandon’s eyes.
Brandon’s now grown with three kids of his own. And, although he no longer begs me to tell him stories, he remembers them all so well. Sometimes I even catch him singing songs to his children that I once sang to him when I couldn’t think of any stories to make up.
To me, grand parenting is not about spoiling children rotten then sending them home. It’s about loving them. It’s about listening to them. It’s about getting eye ball to eye ball on your hands and knees in their little world with them. It’s about hugging and kissing them, holding them close to your beating heart and telling them how smart and brave and special they are. It’s about teaching them to love themselves just the way they are so that they can learn to love others the same way.
Parenting and grand parenting go hand in hand. We are our children’s foundation, their tribe, their school of knowledge and wisdom and understanding. They look up to us. They depend on us. They want and need guidance and protection from us. If we fail in those areas, we fail them. Our broken world is living proof of that.
So, regardless of what your grand-children call you, be the best grandparent you can possibly be. They may not always remember, but you will never forget.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.