When I pulled up to Chicago’s Midway Airport arrival curb today, I felt like an excited child arriving at Great America. Orange-vested security police shook their batons in my direction shouting, “Keep moving!” but I ignored them to scan the sidewalk for four familiar faces.
Finally seeing them gave me permission to stop the car and jump out to greet Linnea and family from Florida. I raced up to Skylar and Micah, strapped into a double stroller, anxious to get my hands on my grandbabies. Because I’ve overdone past greetings, I approached with caution. I didn’t want to see a bottom lip come out with that look of “Mommy! Help!”
But all of a sudden, for the first time, Skylar reached for me and squirmed to escape from the stroller. “Grandma Midgee!” she shouted, with her arms up. What a treat it was to lift up my oldest grandchild and get those grandma-hugs and kisses!
Oftentimes little ones need a warm-up period after lengthy separations. After every farewell, Linnea has said, “I think she’ll remember everything next time.” But when you’re not even two yet, several months of separation can amount to half a lifetime. My grandma-thrills have been many in the last 25 months, but today’s recognition was the best.
Although Micah looked at me favorably, I could tell there was no “click”. After all, he’s only seven months. But Skylar and I picked up right where we left off. “Grandma Midgee! We can go to the beach! And wear our babing suits! And where’s Jack? He’s waiting for me at Grandma Midgee’s house! And look at all the busses!”
One of the greatest things about Skylar is that she’s an exclamation-point-child. Everything is spoken at high decibel and with great gusto. When Linnea pleads, “Skylar, not so loud, please…” Skylar responds obediently. “OK, MOMMY!” with an exclamation point!
An old proverb says, “Grandparents and grandchildren are God’s gift to each other.” I know my five grandbabies are indeed gifts beyond measuring, and I do hope they’ll grow up knowing how much I love them. I want to be a grandma who looks into their eyes when they talk and always has time to listen. Tonight Skylar said, “Grandma Midgee! I have a good idea!”
We couldn’t wait to hear it. “ ‘Scuse me!” she said. “I’m moving this chair!” And right after she rammed it into the footboard of my bed, she took a flying leap and landed on the puffy blanket, laughing in exclamation points. Louisa and I laughed too and followed her lead onto the blanket. She was right. It was a good idea!
God could have populated the world by growing children on trees or dropping them through clouds. Instead he sends them to families through generations. Fortunate are the parents who live to be grandparents and even great-grandparents. As Skylar would say, “God had a good idea!”
Today at the airport I was so engrossed in grabbing Skylar I nearly forgot to greet my own daughter. When she finally put her arm around me and sweetly said, “Hi, Mom,” I sheepishly grinned. “Oh honey, yes, I’m glad to see you, too!”
…with an exclamation point!
“Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:5)