Yesterday I had 6 grandchildren, Wade, my mother and my sister for lunch. This on top of having spent most of last week tag-teaming with Wade to work with Tori on her math catch up. I had fed the kids a light breakfast around ten, but by noon, the natives were getting restless and I had to get lunch started. I was tired, and the day wasn’t even half over!
Wade decided to take the kids over to the garden (we have plots in the community garden provided by our town, Addison, TX, for residents–we pay a nominal fee per year and get all the water we need for free) to prep them for planting. After about 5 minutes, Sammy came back.
“Why aren’t you with everyone else at the garden?” I ask, and his response is, angrily, “I refuse to be a slave to Papa Wade.” “Where did you get that idea? What does being a slave mean to you?” I ask.
“I got it from my own head”, he responds. “Really? Did you make it up? Read a book about slavery? Do you have any idea what it really means to be a slave?”
Then I proceed to outline the various challenges that come with slavery–including not being allowed to learn, read or write, not being allowed to make any choices for themselves, to be completely owned by others–you can imagine what I said.
I get that Sammy is angry that his dad died, and he doesn’t want to have this new life. I get that he has old unresolved issues with his grandfather. But at that point, I was just done with it. I told him his grandfather didn’t deserve to be seen that way–that we were both moving mountains to try to provide for him and his sister and help them make a new life.
At that moment, my precious mom, age 89, stepped up and whispered to Sammy to come with her and show her the garden. They took off walking, and by the time everyone came back for lunch, all was well.
My mom later told me that she said two important things to Sammy. “Papa Wade is not your father, he is your grandfather, and deserves your respect. Look around at the kids. They’re having fun! Why not have fun with them?” Sammy then joined in the fun–moving dirt in wheelbarrows, running and laughing with the rest of the kids.
Once in a while, when my mom gets up feeling old and creaky, she calls me and asks me why she is still here. She feels less needed in the world, less valuable somehow. I can understand it, because I even have glimpses of that at my young age of 66 (not lately, however!).
I tell her that we all still need her–that she is important to us!
Next time she does it, I will remind her of how wonderful it was when she stepped in and provided great-grandmother wisdom when I really needed her help. She could see I was stressed, not really coping so well, and she rose to the occasion gracefully–guiding Sammy to another way to see things.
That perception, that wisdom is so valuable to us. I am so grateful that she is still here, being an elegant, loving great grandmother to us all. She, as I have said many times before, is the epitome of a life entrepreneur!