I am currently in possession of the cutest, smartest and best 4-year-old granddaughter eve; and I’m not even biased! We live 1200 miles away, so my time with her is oh-so-precious. One might think that it’s not possible to have a relationship with a little one when you’re so far apart, and although it’s more difficult, I disagree. We do a lot of FaceTime and I am grateful that we live in this age of technology, because it’s much easier to keep in touch than it would have been when my son was little.
I’m sure there’s something to be said about being able to pick up your grandchild from school, or to be able to take them for the weekend; but there are also a lot of glorious moments that come from the intermittent visits. The process of watching her grow up in stages is bittersweet and more pronounced. The extended visits allow for a better perspective of the nuanced as well as the obvious levels of maturity. It also teaches her a little bit of the joy of travel and how to navigate that world.
Here are the lessons I’ve learned from my favorite 4-year-old, in no specific order:
- Your socks don’t have to match.
- When you have crazy hair, a ponytail solves all.
- Naps are the best.
- Every little thing is a cause for marvel.
- The jokes never get old.
- When in doubt, order pizza.
- You CAN wear your fancy princess dress any day you want!
My favorite, saved for last, is the sheer love she has for herself. She says “Hi” to herself in the mirror, high-fives herself, sings to herself, tells herself she is her best friend. Her unconditional love of herself illuminates everybody else.
This kid is delighted with life and it stems from her delight with herself. I’ve never known anybody to be so tickled with herself. Because she laughs at her own corny jokes, we can be assured that she thinks we are absolutely hilarious.
When she gets back home, I’m going to be sure to call her with funny jokes, send her lots of phone hugs and high-five myself in the mirror to remember that our love for each other starts with our love for ourselves.