The best part of being a grandmother is that you get to experience children for who they are - and have no expectation of them. I am 52 now, a calmer version of myself at 23, the age I became a mother.
I have six granddaughters. They are all beautiful and unique - any Grandmother would say the same about her grandchildren. Our son Joe is expecting our first boy in the family, a cute little one named Harvey. Mario and I can't wait to see him.
The granddaughters I see the most are the closest ones - Harmony and Alannah, Alicia's daughters. Today we went to the park, which is a short walk from our house. As we approached it, Harmony and Alannah screamed and ran for the field of grass, yelling: "Dandelion fluff!!!!"
What drives me crazy (the park is only four houses from our house and the dandelion problem is on our lawn as well) makes them happy. They began picking them and jumping up and down, eyes bright and filled with such excitement it made me laugh.
Harmony inhaled deeply and was about to blow when I said, "Don't forget to make a wish!"
She stopped and excitedly yelled, "I WISH I COULD LOVE EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD!!"
With that, she blew hard and filled the air with the seeds of the weed. They caught the breeze and sailed softly past my face.
Alannah had already been blowing one after the other, an action that made me realize I wanted my camera. I removed my phone from my pocket and started snapping.
"What are you wishing for Alannah?" I giggled. She would not stop blowing the and was growing pink in the face.
"I want to cook in the kitchen with Mama!" she shouted, dropping the stems and running to another portion of the field. Harmony was close behind her.
"I wish I could sing a song!" Harmony said, breathless, then blew another dandelion into the breeze.
"I wish I could go to the park every day!"
"I wish the sky would get a cloud!"
"I wish Mama was here! Then we could make hamburgers!"
It didn't stop, even when the field had surrendered its last fluff. They must have blown a hundred stems - more than I thought any kid could blow. Their wishes were simple ones - ones that were all possible.
The happiness in the heart of a child is hard to contain. It is the same with their disappointment, anger, frustration and love. Kids are bright "feelers" with their emotions on their sleeves. Being in a field of dandelions is a reminder of this. I was in awe...
"Grandma, what do you wish for?" Harmony asked me, handing me a dandelion. I put the phone to the side and thought hard.
I wish for a great revival in our country, and around the world. I wish I could afford to buy a house for Portia; I wish I could find a publishing home for my novel. I wish I could go back to South Africa to see everyone; I wish my friends would be cancer-free and live a long life. I wish my parents would live another twenty years; I wish Mario and I could afford to financially help our kids - even though they never ask us for anything. I wish all of my kids could be in one place for a family picture with their spouses; I wish I could see all of my grandchildren at once.
I blew the dandelion.
"I wish I could be in the park with Harmony and Alannah!" I said, loudly.
This made them both squeal with delight. "Your wish came true!" Harmony shouted, jumping up and down.
Yes, everything that I wish for - each complicated wish - can be realized later. For today, the backdrop of the beauty and joy in a field made me grateful for what I have.
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