Take a moment and think back to when you were younger. What do you remember about your grandparents? Were they a part of your life? For many children, their grandparents are some of their favorite people – mainly because they don’t have to follow any rules, get tons of snacks, and get to do all sorts of fun things that mom and dad won’t let them do! According to this little girl, grandparents are good for lots of things…but one thing rang with more truth than all of the others combined. Wow.
Many years ago, a four-year-old girl named Sandra Louise Doty sat on a stool in a florist’s shop while her grandmother made arrangements for customers. As the grandmother and granddaughter chatted, the child began describing what she thought a grandmother was like. The older woman wrote down Sandra’s words, which have been quoted around the world. Sandra is now Mrs. Andrew De Mattia, and has given us permission to share with you her original composition entitled, “What a Grandmother Is.”
The little girl said, “A grandmother is a lady who has no children of her own, so she likes other people’s little girls. A grandfather is a man grandmother. He goes for walks with the boys, and they talk about fishing and tractors and stuff like that. Grandmas don’t have to do anything except be there. They’re old, so they shouldn’t play hard or run. It is enough if they drive us to the market where the pretend horse is and have lots of dimes ready. Or if they take us for walks, they should slow down past things like pretty leaves or caterpillars. They should never, ever say hurry up.
“Usually, they are fat, but not too fat to tie kids’ shoes. They wear glasses and funny underwear. They can take off their teeth and gums. They don’t have to be smart, only answer questions like why dogs hate cats and how come God isn’t married? They don’t talk baby talk like visitors do, because it is hard to understand. When they read to us they don’t skip or mind if it is the same story again.”
Then she finished, “Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don’t have television, because grandmas are the only grown-ups who have got time.”
This hit me harder than it should have. How many hours a day do you pay more attention to your television, computer, or smartphone instead of the kids around you? Even 30 years later, this list is still relevant because some things will always be important. Our relationships are the things that matter the most, and its our job to make sure that we don’t let life get in the way of that incredible fact!
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