Monday, June 10, 2013

More Precious Than Gold

Another weekend come and gone. A birthday party with nine little girls was scheduled for Saturday. Nine little squealing, giggling girls. They made good use of the pool. The mom and grandmother will have earned their rest this week. As the sun lowered in the sky they came into the office to hear the story of Mr. Martha.

I was happy to oblige, as we all know I love to tell a good story to a captive audience. They oohed and aahed at the right moments in the story and all wished that they had been here to see the tiny kitten feed from a bottle. And, of course, they all wanted to hold him. Mr. Martha is a very friendly cat and does love to wind between one's ankles so much so that the receiver of his affection will find it difficult to walk. He likes a good ear scratch, like all felines and allows me to hold him like a baby when we have one of our talks.

But, that is me, the one who fed him and cleaned him and nurtured him. He was outside, as is his habit. He sleeps all day and roams all night. Thankfully he has stopped laying a gift of squirrel corpse on the steeping stone in the garden right outside my window. We had a nice long chat about this and he knows that I do not appreciate such gifts.

So, nine excited little girls went out into the park after the story and I could hear them calling, "Martha, Martha". Martha responded at first, but I am told he fled after much handling and hid from his admirers. Mr. Martha is a very smart cat.

First thing Saturday morning, I picked the dwindling strawberries and discovered that new blooms were forming. I had given some plants to Miss Martha (not a cat, but the inspiration for the cat's name), I pick her berries during the week and had taken note of what she would be able to harvest over the weekend. Since she had her grandchildren with her, I decided to supplement her harvest.

I was just walking up to her site when I saw the oldest, Lauren, crying with a bloody paper towel held to her thumb. A bike accident on the gravel road. I am betting she put her hand out to brace herself and the thumb skidded on the rocks. It looked awful, but was only skin. Nothing to be done, didn't need stitches, just a good cleaning and neosporin and some bandaids. Tom and Martha were both in a tizzy and I was happy to take over. Lauren stopped crying when I said there was no need for stitches. I played nurse and she was left with lots of bandaids on her road rash.

So, it got me to thinking. About the role of grandparents and how scary we find it to have the sole responsibility of our children's children. When my own children were growing up, they had all the bumps and cuts that kids get and I found myself to be quite capable of caring for them without panic. I usually knew what they were up to and where they were, but they were not always in my sight. Times were different then (long, long ago).

When I have the responsibility of my grandchildren, I am afraid to let them out of my line of vision. I love to have them, but I do not realize how alert I am until I turn them back over to their parents and feel the tension ease. I suppose if I had that responsibility on a regular basis I might feel differently, but I am not sure about that. What is more precious than a grandchild?


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labbie1 said...

How cute!

Anonymous said...

I know the feeling about the grandchildren. I never let them out of my sight when we are responsible for them. we have a phrase around here, "not on my watch!"

Val said...

Yeah, my mom used to let me and my sister, not even tweens yet, ride on the tailgate of a pickup truck, dangling our legs down the interstate highway at 70 mph. In THONGS! Which ladies like us know was the name for flip-flops back in simpler times.

However...she would faint if my boys asked to ride like that. These strapping young teenagers must be wrapped in egg-crate bumpy foam, winched in with come-a-long straps, encased in bubble wrap with sufficient air holes for maximum oxygen uptake, secured with lap belt/seat belt/shoulder harness, and driven in an armored tank, after closing down the highway for their solo journey. She takes no chances with the grands.

Linda O'Connell said...

I cannot sleep soundly when a grandchild spends the night, so I know exactly what you mean about the tension and worry when they are in your care.