Making Memories of Simple Moments
by Sharon W. Betters
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny. And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
“Grammy, can I help you cook?” I welcomed the opportunity to spend one on one time with eight your old Eva as the other grands busied themselves at Cousins Camp with volleyball, fishing, board games and playing in the Poconos woods. I chopped and Eva dropped the veggies into the sauce and stirred. The tossed salad was prettier and tasted better because Eva added the dressing and mixed the greens. Time to pull out paper plates, plasticware and cups - Eva eagerly took on each task, chattering away. A week later, Eva asked if I remembered her cooking with me, and how she stirred the sauce. Her sweet face and question reminded me making memories is not complicated and perhaps the best memories can happen when a grandchild gets my full attention. And so, I invited Eva to come over, by herself, for some one on one time. The rest of the grands didn't have a problem with Eva coming for a "cooking lesson" and would join us for dinner. We needed to get busy. Eva's eyes lit up when I showed her a picture of how our special dessert would look - Neapolitan Ice Cream Pops. (Note to Grandmothers: pick a simple, easy, sure to succeed recipe.)
Eva counted out the store brand Oreo knock offs, placed them in a plastic bag and smashed them with a rolling pin. She added a little butter and pressed the crumbs into the bottom of a greased pan, and into the oven for a few minutes to create a nice cookie crust. Eva's big brown eyes twinkled when I showed her the next step - three layers of ice cream, starting with chocolate, then vanilla, then strawberry.
While the ice cream pops hardened in the freezer, Eva and I moved on to our next adventure, delivery of flowers to Aunt Heidi to help celebrate the launch of the new family business, Sweet Darlin' Cleaners and lunch with Cousin Danielle.
Next project – baking homemade bread, preparing pasta and sauce, and then the cousins arrived to enjoy Eva’s creations.
Grandparents today sometimes shake their heads in dismay, wondering how to connect with grandchildren who seem to have everything. Our grands continue to teach me what they really want is a few moments of undivided attention. Eva regularly reminds me of all the cooking we do together. I recently learned every time a child recounts a fun experience, it's as though it is happening all over again. I think that works for grownups, too, because a little more joy bubbles over as I think about my sweet time with Eva.
Though you may not have children or grandchildren, if you are part of a local church, you have a priceless opportunity to enjoy this same kind of joy. Prayerfully make yourself available as a surrogate aunt or grandparent to a child whose grandparents are no longer alive or live too far away to enjoy regular time with their grandkids. First pray, then invest yourself in children’s ministry or regularly care for children in the nursery. Get to know them and be intentional about encouraging their parents. Some of the best friendships start because of meeting in the church nursery! Through the grid of prayer, watch for ways you can help a struggling mom into the church on a busy Sunday morning and allow the Lord to show you how to love on her children through little acts of kindness. Someday, those little ones might come back and ask, “Do you remember when……thank you for loving a rascally little girl who needed a grandmother to make special memories that helped me see the church as a place of love.”
Published on Treasures of Encouragement blog, fall, 2015. Updated
Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a non profit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children and fourteen grandchildren.
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