Last month, we had our granddaughter for 2 weeks. She is 4-years old and a bundle of joy and energy and pure, sweet love. Last year when I had her, I felt guilty because I was working from home and trying to do all the things. I was doing the work, but I felt like I short-changed her. Finally, I set up my personal laptop next to my work laptop and we “worked” together. It was cute, but I felt so bad because I felt like we should be outside playing and I should be doing ‘grandmotherly” things like baking cookies or some such stuff. I’m probably the most un-grandmotherly grandmother ever…but I do bake cookies!
As soon as we were on the plane this year, she asked me if I had her work laptop set up for her at home. I assured her that I did, but that we wouldn’t have to “work” as much as last year. We staggered our work schedules and PTO so that I only had to work from home 2 days a week with her, and it went much smoother. We had a ton of fun together, we “worked,” but we also had a lot of day trips planned. We went to the natural springs to see the manatees, to the beach, to the pool, to the mall, to the crystal store and we got matching kitty necklaces. When I had to be in the office, they came to the city and we had lunch together. We drank tea every morning and I finally figured out how to do her super thick, curly hair (enter the pony tail). TL was my saving grace and made my life so much easier this time around.
When we were driving back from the airport to her house, I asked her what her favorite part was. Do you know what? She said “Working next to you with my own laptop.” I almost fell out of the car. The thing that I felt the most guilt over, the thing that I worked so hard to minimize was the very thing she loved the most!
It made me think about my own memories. Very seldom are they the big, planned things. It was little things, like my mom giving me the series of animal kisses at night (the butterfly and the elephant kisses), blowing bubbles on my aunt’s front steps, eating dinner in the living room at my grandmother’s house
on a tray while watching the Monkees.
I can’t wait to make new memories with her and I promise that I’ll have her work laptop set up and charged at all times. I’ve also decided to ask her what she wants to do more and let the moments unfold naturally. That’s how the true memories are created, just by being near and there for each other.