I don’t know how it happened. I really don’t.
Somehow, when I wasn’t looking, this first grandson of mine managed to turn five years old, swiffed his blonde hair to one side, and knocked on the doors of kindergarten.
Gone are the days of painting at grandma’s and singing songs at the library together. Gone are the alphabet rhymes and the sensory bags filled with birdseed and pasta. My boy is grown up.
I picked him up from after-school for the first time just yesterday. I was there when the doors swung open and he jumped down from the yellow school bus, laughing and jostling and chatting with his little kindergarten buddies. I watched him swing his back pack onto his shoulder, his laces all undone and his blonde hair blowing in the wind.
He didn’t see me for a few minutes as I glimpsed into his new world. But then, his eye caught mine… and there he was after all, my little grandson running, running, and squealing with joy.
Gandma!!! he squeals in delight.
(Yes, that’s right… I didn’t mis-spell that word. He still calls me Gandma sometimes).
And I swing him high into the air, back-pack and all, and hug him close. All is not lost. This little boy still loves to see me, and he’s not embarrassed to show it… yet.
This is my Gandma Glenys, he announces loudly and proudly to all his friends, and hugs me tight around the legs as if I might escape. But where would I go… if not with him?
I tuck him into bed that night, and I tell him:
I love you to the moon and back.
He thinks for a minute, before he responds: I love you to… (a little pause here) the mountains and back.
How did he fill my heart like that? I kiss that little blonde head as he snuggles under the covers and closes his eyes.
And I think to myself, seize this time Gandma. Hold on to it like it’s the last thing you’ll ever have, because that gorgeous autumn tree, that one you took a photo of just the other day? It’s leaves are almost all gone.
And if I could hold on to a season, I surely would… before the ground is covered with what was once so lovely.