by Penny Cook
And so it’s Christmas time …again. This is my 55th. I’m struggling with what I can give my grandchildren when they have everything. It’s not how it used to be. And this is not about being nostalgic…it’s about living in a material world, as Madonna sang in not so recent times!! Years ago, material things were sought after and reserved for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas…they weren’t accessible every day.
When I look at my almost one year old grand daughter, I see her delighting in happening upon a toilet roll and tearing into it, leaving a trail of her perfect work along the hallway. I watch her upend the dog’s water bowl and place it in a planter box. I marvel at how engaged she is with a box of tea bags and how she empties it and carries some of the bags to the third step on the staircase and stores them there with other household items. Presents she has given herself. I listen to her 5 year old brother who has chosen a heart shaped rose quartz stone for her because ‘she loves rocks and now she will know that I will always love her’. How can I compete? What can I give her?
There is nothing….but me. I am her Nan. I will be there when she endures growing up…when tearing up toilet rolls doesn’t fix hurtful words or gathering rocks can’t explain others’ actions.
Sure, I will find a present for Christmas.. but Grandparents…we are a gift for life.
Penny Cook has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years. She loves to travel – anywhere. Penny is a mother and ‘Nan Pen’, who is continuously fascinated and amazed by her two young grandchildren. She has always wanted to live in a tree house by the beach …..it’s never too late!!…….
Photo source: 1930s Tea Party Queensland Library Archives
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