written March 31, 2014 - published later
Grandparents have been the leaders of most households since the beginning. Grandparents are seen as a source of wisdom. Grandparents usually tell the best stories, like exciting tales about when they were youngsters. Grandparents will often drop everything to spend time with their grandkids. Grandparents do stand firm when it comes to right and wrong. But on the flip side, they give in to the grandchildren wants.
When I raised my boys, I hoped to be a grandmother one day. My grandson calls me “Big Mama,” which I love it. My oldest son and his wife are expecting their second child, a girl. I know she will fill my heart with joy. However, I find myself having a great love for other children.
When I moved back to Whitesburg a little over three years ago, I never thought God was sending me to “love the children.” I learned when I was a child that “God is Love,” and if I want to be like Jesus, “I must love unconditionally.”
It Is A Spiritual Gift
The first time I kept the nursery was two years ago during a revival. Then I was put on the rotation. Then I started helping on Sunday nights for our children’s program at Whitesburg Christian Church. I don’t know how it happened, but I started being the teacher of the toddler class. One of the toddler’s parents started coming to Sunday school, so I volunteered to be the Sunday school teacher for that class too. During VBS, I get to be their teacher.
My toddlers are learning to play together, share, and follow the rules. They love to play toy instruments and sing, and then I have them sit at the children’s table in the room and watch a movie while they eat. Elaine brings them a craft to do. Yes, they do participate and do his or her work with supervision. As far as myself, I love it.
One of the toddlers, I get to babysit outside of the church. I get to babysit him and his older sister, who is in Pre-K. It does my heart good. I am always thrilled when their mother texts or calls me. The little girl asked me if I can be her grandma. She started calling me “Big Mama.” Therefore when she comes to my house to spend the night, it’s like going to grandma’s house.
I never thought I could love somebody else’s kids so very much, but I do. I enjoy it more than I have experienced anything. This is my purpose in life. This is my calling. The spiritual gift that I never knew I had until two years ago. I get to love on and spoil the children.
Being a grandparent to others is a big job, but grandparents have a lot of experience. I raised and cared for my boys when they were kids. I also cared for my nephews, some and my nieces a lot when they were kids. I was even a Brownie Troop Leader.
I get to help children develop skills to enhance their lifelong learning. In many ways, they help me stay young at heart. Because of these children, I have a positive attitude toward aging.