I just learned that September 12th was Grandparents Day. I missed it, but intend to celebrate it next year. The catalyst for this decision is an essay my eight-year-old granddaughter recently wrote for her third grade science and social studies class. I offer it with her original words and spelling for all you grandparents to enjoy.
“The Best Summer Ever!”
When I went on a trip to North Carolina I saw the greenest emrald grass and I saw the most robin’s egg blue sky. There was a shimmering pearl sun. It was so beautiful! It felt so good. Would you like that? I went to the barn and met my grandma. She helped me on the horse and rode and rode and rode until I was so tired. We went up to the house for dinner. The next day was even better, I got to ride the zipline and then I went to horse riding class. Horse riding was fun, but not as much as at home. After horse riding I got to play in the stream. Would you feel the same as I did? That night we had dinner outside. There was a gentle breeze and a lovely, gorgeous cobalt sky. I could see purple mountains waiting. It felt like a dream. It felt so good. It felt magical. What I imagined was marrvellous. I dreamed the horse would be waiting for me in the morning, and sure enough he was waiting for me the same way I had dreamed. My heart was racing to ride, but I started running and stopped for my grandma. I rode until sunset. It was peaceful that night and so beautiful. I just new I wouldn’t forget that amazing, beautiful, peaceful, happy, day! It was thrilling enough to make a girl cry. It was a great summer that I will never ever forget!
What does my granddaughter’s essay have to do with this blog’s theme of thinking psychologically and living spiritually? Oh, I don’t know…….. Everything?
Thinking Psychologically is the secret to waking up to our life and truly living it. Without self-knowledge we are like dry flower seeds in a sealed packet. If we are not planted, watered, fertilized, and exposed to light we will not grow. If we do not grow we cannot nourish others with the blessing of our dormant beauty. Thus, we withhold from the next generation — and the one after that — the single most valuable gift we have to offer: our truest, wisest, highest and deepest selves. In doing so we deprive our progeny of a special kind of mentoring that could guide them on their own journey to meaningful living. So I ask myself, would I have been able to help give my granddaughter her Best Summer Ever if I had not spent the past forty years struggling to grow into myself?
Then there’s Living Spiritually. I believe, in the words of Episcopal Bishop John Spong, that our spiritual goals are to “live fully, love wastefully, and be all we are meant to be.” Loving my grandchildren, being loved by them in return, enjoying the privilege of spending time with them in a place I helped create, where I feel free to be who I am and do what I love, is my idea of paradise. I don’t manage to live that way all the time, of course, but when I do it feels deeply spiritual.
Contrary to messages from the materialistic world, Grandparenting is not just about giving. It’s also about being the gift. May we each be gifts that will help our grandchildren live full and meaningful lives.