Carter, My 13-year-old grandson, rode his bike over to my house recently. First thing he did was head for the pantry and a bag of marshmallows (as he’s been doing since he was a toddler). Hunger pains assuaged, he sat down and we started chatting. “You were in my dream last night,” I told him.
“Yes. We had to go somewhere and I let you drive.”
“You let a 13-year-old drive?”
“I was dreaming.” I laughed and then continued. “But you did well. When we had to turn onto a very narrow road, I reached over and grabbed the steering wheel to help. I guess we did ok because we were still driving around when I woke up.”
Carter (who is quite a charmer), jumped to his feet. “That proves it! That proves it!”
“Proves what?” I had no idea where this was going.
“That you’re a good grandma. When a grandmother helps a grandkid even in her dreams, you KNOW she’s a good grandma.” He paused. “Put that on Facebook, that’s a very grandmotherish thing to put on Facebook.”
As I said, Carter is a charmer. He knows how to say the right words to make his parents and grandparents respond with “awww.”
But he has a point.
How willing are we to help our grandkids? Kids are navigating through a tough world. Parents do what they can, but they can’t do it all or maybe they can do it all, but don’t have time for some of the extras.
Sometimes helping is fun. Sometimes it is serious. Sometimes it is … unexpected.
I’ve helped …
… as extra transportation during a medical emergency.
… with Christmas shopping.
… a child memorize a verse.
… pull out a tooth.
… bake cookies.
… drive grandkids to work or pick them up at school.
… buy a dress for a special occasion.
… practice catching a baseball.
Your list of helps is probably different from mine, but that’s all right. The benefit comes not in how we help, but in that we are helping.
We can probably all recite verses about helping others. Often we apply those verses to contributing to a food bank, teaching a class, or helping a shut-in.
But those verses can also be applied to our grandkids. Our privilege is to treat them with compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians3:12).
And no, I wouldn’t let the 13-year-old drive my car.
Except in my dreams.
Linda is the author of thirteen books, and several hundred short stories and articles. For the past twenty-three years she has worked at Awana as a writer. She is the mom of two grown kids and six keeping-life-interesting grandkids.