My daughter, Becca, was laughing as I answered her call.
“Mom, we were at the park and Brady just walked up to a man he thought sure was Dad and called him Grandpa.”
My first question was if the man looked at all like my husband.
She said, “He had a blue shirt on that looked like one Dad wears, but when Brady looked up at him, he had a baseball cap on and Dad doesn’t wear those. And he had tall crew socks on, and Dad definitely doesn’t wear those.”
Then I asked what the man said to Brady, and Becca said he was very nice and smiled down at him. He was there with a couple of his grandkids, and he just said, “Well, hello young man.”
Becca said it was very sweet because even after Brady realized it wasn’t his grandpa, he kept walking over to him and just smiling up at him.
That didn’t surprise me one bit. He was a grandpa.
And grandpas and grandmas just kind of interact with all little kids and vice versa.
It’s a mutual admiration society we have going on with the world. We have time for each other, and when the rest of humanity is hustling and bustling, there is an extraordinary peace to be found in the interactions of the youngest and oldest generations and an appreciation of the wisdom each has to offer.
I told Becca I’d had a fun interaction that same day when John and I were taking our granddaughter Kaylee to lunch before school started the next day. I’d been to the hairdresser before we went to pick up the newest almost 8th grader of the family, and I made a quick trip to the restroom before ordering and eating my hamburger.
A little girl about four or five years old with the cutest pigtails tied with blue ribbons came in with her grandmother, and they were carrying on quite a conversation as I was washing my hands. The youngster came around the corner and was trying to reach the soap dispenser but was just a little too short.
“Here, let me help you,” I offered, as I pushed the dispenser for her. “It’s okay,” I said. “I’m a grammy too.”
Without missing a bit of the conversation with her own grammy, she said, “I know. I could tell.”
Interesting. Maybe she just presumed that was the case because I’m an older woman, or maybe she really could tell. Either way, I took it as a wonderful compliment and waved to her as I left to go back to my table.
There’s an unspoken camaraderie between the young and the old.
I remember almost being jealous of it when it was my own children enjoying the company of elders. There was a literal suspension of time—no one was in a hurry and there was nothing more important in the world than walking along with Grandma kicking stones and talking about absolutely everything.
And now, I understand.
There is time when you are a grandparent and appreciation of the littlest things, and you have to bend a little closer to hear their tiny voices and to breathe in the air of innocence and the promise of eternity.
This week, I was at the grocery store and saw a young girl in the child seat of the cart as her mom pushed it past door after door in the ice cream aisle. The little one was chattering incessantly, the mother intent on finding what she was after.
The girl kept repeating, “Gramma loves that! Gramma LOVES that! Gramma loves that, Momma. It’s so good, Momma. It’s soooooo good!”
Finally, the mother reached over and opened a freezer door, and the little one clapped her hands in sheer delight. “Oh, Momma, that is SO good!”
I smiled at her and said, “This Gramma loves ice cream too.” And she grinned from ear to ear. I thought of her that night when I scooped my chocolate ice cream into a bowl, hoping she was eating some, too.
Grandmas and grandpas have time for even those kids who aren’t their own.
That makes every interaction more special, more important, more memorable. When Brady looked up at the man in the park he thought was Grandpa, he knew he’d found a kindred soul.
And so did God.