The other day my granddaughter and I had the opportunity to sit down and have a nice long conversation. She was recuperating and her mom and dad were off at her sister's concert. Many of us would probably say, "Of course I talk with my children." After reading Stephanie's blog at Stephanie's Corner, dated February 15th, I decided to be a little more intentional about my conversations with my grandchildren. I ask my grandchildren about school on the drive home, or when they walk in the door. They are usually in a hurry to begin homework, play, or relax and watch TV so the conversation isn't as meaningful as it could be. Or I'll will ask about something that they've done, what they did over the weekend, or lessons they've taken. This time, I took Stephanie's advise and decided to be more intentional. I asked her what she wanted to do, since she was stuck in bed and I was on a couch nearby. "What can I do?" she asked. "Anything you want that will keep you resting here in the bedroom," I answered. "You can read, you can watch a movie, we can play a game. What would you like to do? " "Let's play Barbie beauty shop," she said. That hadn't even crossed my radar. Even though I played Barbie as a child, I really do not enjoy "playing Barbie" with the girls. I just don't think I'm creative enough, although I've attempted a few times and they've enjoyed it.
We had the best time! She brought in two Barbies with long hair and got all of the hair things that "were small enough for a Barbie," she explained, and we started brushing Barbie's hair. She made several crazy pony tails sticking out all over her head. I tried a french braid. It was pretty crooked but she kept saying over and over again how much she loved the braid and what a good job I did. I complimented her as well and we sat on the couch together talking about many different things that I would not share here. I was really disappointed when I heard her parents come home. We were together on the couch, the TV was off, it was just the two of us and the cell phone was far enough away that I couldn't even glance at it when it pinged that I had a message. The minute she heard the garage door open she was off the couch to make pancakes with her mom and didn't give the Barbies or me a second thought. That is how it should be, but I don't want to make that the last night we have to talk. She has not mentioned our conversation since, but I know that she felt very special and so did I.
With my sons it was always the trip to the store. I always wanted to take just one boy so we could talk when they were growing up. With my oldest granddaughters it was going to a movie without her sister. Now with my younger grandchildren it's playing a WII game or video game with just one, or spending time in the kitchen making something special for mom or dad. With my newest granddaughter, we played a board game that didn't take much thought and allowed us to talk. WII and video games are fun, but I need to make sure I have that intentional talk time while they are eager to share their lives. What are you doing to take aside your child to make them feel like they are special, while actually listening to what they have to say?
We haven't done much traveling lately, with school during the week and Mom and Dad fun on the weekends. I'm going to keep my posts to every Wednesday for a while, until we are able to do more traveling. Join me every Wednesday for activities, new websites to review, or books to share with your grandchildren and children.