It’s been some time since I’ve posted on this blog about being a Nana because…I’ve been really busy being a Nana! For the past six months, I have had the joy of caring for my grandson every weekday, from early morning until early evening. It has afforded me the opportunity to observe him through several important milestones. As a first-time mother thirty years ago, I remember these same milestones with own son, but I don’t think I viewed them the same way. In fact, I know I didn’t.
Take walking. Have you ever noticed the face of a baby who is just learning to walk? I don’t remember being all that cognizant of it with my son, but as a more relaxed Nana, I sure noticed it with Sami. It is the look of unbridled joy – the look that says, “Wow, look what my body can do!” The look that screams, “Freedom!” – even though Nana is always about three steps behind. When do we lose that feeling? When do we no longer appreciate that amazing ability of our feet and our legs to carry us from point A to point B?
I don’t have issues with my knees and hips, but I have many friends who do, and they will tell you there is no joy anymore in traveling even short distances. Those same legs that performed the miracle of mobility decades ago now hurt and ache with each step. Even though learning to walk as a toddler can be painful – how many ways can a little boy bump his head against a wall or a cabinet? – it doesn’t slow him down. There may be tears for about, oh, five seconds, then the smile returns and he’s off again! Movin’ and groovin’, no destination in mind – he’s just MOVING! Look out world!
Not so for adults. We don’t appreciate that freedom of movement while we have it. We take it for granted until one day our knee raises the painful white flag and says nope, not one more step, buddy. We’re done here. We exchange the look of unbridled joy for the grimace of agony…and possibly a few swear words thrown in for good measure.
So…thanks for the reminder, Sami. This little guy has given me a whole new appreciation for the fact that while I may have slowed down over the years, I am still kickin’, if not quite as high. I will try to emulate my grandson’s joy while I can, the happiness of having a body that continues to work as I continue to keep up with him. It’s a little thing, and a big thing. Both of us, movin’ and groovin’, together.