Wheaties and Roman Meal bread toasted with lots of butter.
Strong black coffee. Soft quartets singing in the background.
Sunday mornings in church.
Oreos from THE jar.
Long walks, a day at the park, picnics, Slurpee’s and the newspaper.
Time spent in the company of someone much older and wiser than myself.
Home cooked meal, laughter, helping clean up, small box of toys (always the same).
A pile of quilts, clawfoot tub, dove soap.
Watching the oil lamp glow.
Standing over the floor furnace to get warm.
Drinking from the hose. Hot summer sun.
Playing dodge ball, playing tennis, playing hide and seek.
Rummaging through the garage. Dirt floor.
Finding chalk rocks to draw, lazy day in the sun, barefoot prickly pine needles.
Planting seeds, digging rocks, fishing.
Watering the lawn.
Sliding down the hill. Piggly Wiggly for boxes.
Reading the big bible on the table, painting our toes, the quiet tick of the clock.
S & H green stamps.
Learning to dance, learning to cook, learning to sew. Learning to drive. Learning how to be a young lady or a gentleman.
Long talks on the porch glider. Feeling loved from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes.
This was mine and my brother’s childhood. We weren’t given things. We were given time and attention. My grandparents whom I adored and desired to please; invested in us kids. We respected them. We obeyed them, heck we were to scared to act up because we weren’t quite sure what would happen if we did. They never raised their voice, they never negotiated. They had few rules, and those were written in stone. Non negotiable.
Meals consisted of whatever they fixed, we ate and never complained. We never thought to complain. What we didn’t like we tried. If you didn’t eat you were hungry. We helped set the table, clean off the table and wash the dishes. Some times we got to help cook (those were the best times).
At night we made a huge pallet on the floor (even though there was a bed) out of the pile of quilts my maw maw kept in the top of the closet in the dining room. All the kids piled up together. Every evening it was the same routine. A bit of tv – usually the news. Some small talk between our grandparents and the kids. Bath time in the big ole claw foot tub that took forever to fill up. Reading the bible and then bed. When we were younger we would fight over who got to shave my po po with his electric razer and who fetched his dish for his teeth. He would “tolerate” our caregiving and never seemed to mind if we didn’t’ get all just right.
We knew where we stood with them. We knew we were loved no matter what. There was a standard of morals and values they held us to as a part of the family. We didn’t question or test the limits of their authority because we valued their opinion of us. We valued the authority over us and knew the boundaries they set were for our own good. We knew they could be trusted with anything on our heart and mind and we talked about everything. Everyday we saw them live out a genuine walk with Christ. Their relationship with Christ stirred up in our hearts the desire for that same kind of relationship.
My desire is to be that same kind of steady in the lives of my grands as my maw maw and po po were to me. In everyway I want to show them the love of Christ and point them to the one who saves. Everyday I want them to know they are dearly loved by the creator of heaven and earth and by me from the top of their heads to the bottom of their toes. My desire is to live out before them a genuine walk in Christ that is so steady and faith filled they too will desire a relationship with God.