Revelation in Aisle 6

My 6-year-old granddaughter and I were at the grocery store, just the two of us.

She lives on the other side of the United States with her family.  Skype is a sorry substitute for spending time (in the flesh, not virtually) with her, her sisters, and her cousins.  So I have to make the most of every opportunity when we’re actually together, in person.

That means actively creating one-on-one opportunities – and perfecting the art of scheduling in kid lunches, kid movies (I have seen How To Train Your Dragon, Big Hero Six, Inside Out and Cinderella, among others) and trips to bounce houses. (I’ve also coached the younger set on how to shop in a bookstore. We practiced asking a clerk, “Who is the expert in kids’ books here?  What is new and cool for an X year old?” before going to the store. It worked out really well, by the way.)

Meanwhile, back at Publix, I offered to let her push the cart. She immediately went into a ballet pose (arms in an arch above her head) and said, “Oh Poppa, that is a lifelong dream of mine.” She has three extremely competent older sisters who normally take the helm.

So I let her push the cart with only occasional course corrections to avoid the man on crutches, the 8′ cereal box tower, and the stock boy innocently shelving coffee. All the while I was pondering how satisfying simple acts of love and kindness can be.

A few minutes later, she patted me on the arm and said, “I know you are going to die someday but not for a long, long, long time, like two years.  Don’t worry. I will always remember you.” Where that came from I do not know and don’t care. My smiling response: “Thank you. I am greatly relieved.”

If you get a chance for one-on-one time with your grandchildren, grab it whenever you can, wherever you are. These small moments have big impact, and not just for you.

7 responses to “Revelation in Aisle 6”

  1. Lisa Rubinstein says:

    Love the story and can relate in so many ways. My weekly FaceTime reading group with my three grandsons has become so much more than that. I get to see all the latest Lego projects, listen to someone play the piano, hear about their most recent adventures. Recently, Ethan, age 6, told me when I come to visit he wants to go in the time machine with me and travel back to when he was a baby. I thought that was a great idea because I’d love to snuggle with that little baby again. Yes, he pointed out, I could snuggle with both of them. What a bonus!

    • George Schofield says:

      This is inspiring, Lisa. I remember holding them as babies. Two of them are as tall as I am now. It goes fast!

  2. Rick Searns says:

    What a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with your granddaughter. Just like you, nothing is more important to me than family. I’m glad you were able to spend some high quality time one on one with a grandchild and hope you will get many more opportunities.

    I am so fortunate that my three grandchildren live 5 minutes away from me and so thankful that I get to see them and spend time with them so often so I can empathize with the quality time you got to spend with your granddaughter

  3. Sue Seiter says:

    Loved this post, George! You are a very special granddaddy!

    I am headed north to see all 5 grands at the Jersey Shore — and this reminds me to take time in the next two weeks to do one special thing with each of them. It is such precious time!

  4. Linda DesMarais says:

    Loved reading this. Not to mention I also loved spending in person time with all three girls. They are very special, George, and I believe your love and teachings have inspired much of that.
    This is an excellent primer for both Doug and me when we see our granddaughter in Atlanta soon. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Siri Allison says:

    What an open-hearted and creative and intelligent little girl! Guess she’s in your family line!
    I have been thinking lately about my own grandparents and how deeply I value the time they spent with me. When I was young we sat and watched the stars come out and played “I spy”on the telephone, trying to remember each others houses. As I grew older we played cards on the porch through the afternoon and went out to lunch. As I approach their age, I am aware of how much they influenced me. Their their love and attention was a real affirmation of my life — an invaluable gift.

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