Saturday, December 29, 2007

Grandma gifts OR through the eyes of a child

"What would you like for Christmas, Dad (or birthday or father's day)?", I asked as a child.
"Smiling faces, nobody fighting", was his constant reply.
"Nooooo", I would wail. I can't wrap that up for you! What do you want that I can wrap up?"
Dad would only smile and repeat his mantra.
Frustrated, I would tell him about Susie who was buying her father a tie or a pen and pencil set - typical gifts for fathers back then.
"I just want to see everyone happy" he'd say.

Mom would gently take me aside and suggest I make Dad something - a card or a picture. Even that sounded dumb to my childish ears. I could draw him a picture any old day. That was not a special enough gift for my Dad.

Time changes, years pass and I find myself in my Dad's shoes.
My most precious gifts are the ones my grandchildren make for me.
A wobbly outline of their hand, drawn in a bright red crayon, fingers fat as sausages.
Pictures of a skinny house with no windows and a chimney pouring out smoke on a bright summer's day (as evidenced by the stick-like flowers and huge yellow sun).
A sparkly, sticky glob of glue - that was supposed to be a Christmas ornament.
A gingerbreadman cookie with a bite out of it.
A hard lump of playdoh - "grandma, I made you a camel!" (what in the world would I want a camel for?)

But the best of the best are the pictures of people - from the child's perspective. Gigantic mothers and tiny children. Baby brother who is as big as Dad. Grandma or Grandpa who take up the whole page - or only a small corner of it. People missing ears or necks; someone wearing glasses who normally doesn't. People with long legs and short arms - or short legs and long arms.

It is such a joy to watch their little eyes light up as they proudly hand you their gift - or eagerly unwrap it for you.
"I made this all by myself!"
"Really?" (I could never have guessed).

The whirlwind years of bringing up my own children have come and gone with lightening speed. Now that I'm a Grandma, I have time to reflect, to cherish the really important things in life.

Now I understand what my Dad was talking about all those years ago.


JOY said...

Yes, it truly is the litte kids that make Christmas all worthwhile isn't it? My stepson & his wife & daughter finally made it over for a visit on the 28th. Quite a long journey for them from Powell River, but hubby & I were ever so happy that they finally made it. The little girl is five & such a going concern. My hubby wishes he had half her energy. By the time she'd opened up all her presents and ate a few chocolates she was running around and squealing~by then he was ready to sneak off and go lay down for the night! We sat up and had a glass of wine & a snack & reminisced for awhile about all the fun Christmasses we'd shared together. The night I cooked the turkey & there were nine of us all together was a wonderful night & holding the baby who's six months old made it all so wonderful.She's such a good natured little girl, always smiling.She has no teeth yet but was so eager to try a little mashed potato. So I held her & fed her while her mom had some dinner.Reminded me such of when my own daughter was a baby.Well as much fun as it was I'm kinda glad it's all over for another year!!

Wendy said...

Oh, where have those years gone! Cuddling our grandchildren takes us back to when ours were small.
I am glad you had such a good holiday. Family coming home, cookies and presents and little one's boundless energy. It's wonderful!
And yes, I have to agree - I'm glad it's all over for another year too.