Friday, 29 September 2017

Letter to a Granddaughter.

Dear Granddaughter,
It's nearly five years since you entered my life, changing it for ever in ways that are entirely good.
I remember thinking at the time of your birth how amazing it was that such a tiny person could have such a profound effect and,'s gone on.
I try to think why the whole experience of being a grandmother is so different from that of being a mother, and in my case I think it's because I have time to reflect. As a parent there is not a lot of that going on.
I don't see you and your little brother so frequently, but after one of your weekend visits, while I'm gardening, walking, pottering around I think of you and remember what you've told me, how you've responded to me, and all the many questions you've asked and observations you've made.
(Little Brother isn't talking just yet, apart from 'cat, Daddy, banana', but we can build a meaningful exchange with that.)

Last weekend you and I talked about magic, and whether there is real magic or not. I confessed to writing the tiny fairy notes.
You said, "Yes, I thought it was you, but it's a good game, isn't it?"
Yes. It's a good game, but a better one followed when I taught you a couple of 'magic' tricks and you gave us all a conjuring show. The magic part of the magic is to keep the patter going and not to give away your secrets.
A good lesson for life? Aw heck, what have I taught you now?

You are concerned for me, living alone.
You asked me, "Do you talk to people when I'm not here? Not on the telephone, real people, I mean?" I told you I have friends, people come to see me, I go to see them, but I'm also happy on my own. A better lesson for life, hopefully.
Then you said, "Granny, I've had such a good idea. You could have a baby!"
I explained that old ladies can't have babies because they are meant to be grannies, not mothers. Old ladies can't do all the energetic things that mothers can do, but you fixed me with a steely glare and said, "Well, I think any baby in the world would be happy to live here!"
When you're a lot older you will realise what that remark meant to an arthritic old lady.

But next week you will be in school full-time.
How can that be, this incredible growth and development when it seems only a few weeks ago that you were learning to walk, just like Little Brother now?
And he too will race away, over the hills and vales of life, learning new skills every hour of every day.

Be safe and happy, both of you, on your feet, on your bikes, with your friends, in your classrooms.
And Granddaughter, thank you for  nearly five years of all the right sort of magic.

With love from Granny.