When I told my granddaughters I was retiring, one of them said, “Nana, does that mean you’ll have more time?”
Every mature adult has life wisdom that should be passed on so that new generations can benefit from the stream of knowledge. I take this seriously and have been pondering how I can make the best use of the time I have with my grandchildren. For some, the grandparenting gig revolves around buying stuff and paying admission to places. That is not what I value.
I came up with Tapestry Days. My grandchildren and I are going to weave together exploration, learning, creativity and nature lore into a beautiful tapestry to treasure and eventually bequeath when their time comes.
The day starts at mid-morning and goes through to late afternoon. Each time two girls come with me – we want to make sure we have space enough to focus on each one’s interests and abilities. Everyone in a clump is fun, but doesn’t allow for much individual attention.
Our first part of the day is out in nature. It might involve taking a hike or enjoying the community garden. The point is to be close to God’s creation, to notice and to rejoice in the life all around us. There is health and wholeness in being among plants, birdsong, moving air and trickling water. While we’re out and about, we’ll watch for treasure that is bountiful if we know how to look.
Back at my house, we’ll have our foods and nutrition learning time, also known as lunch. I know beyond all doubt that food is medicine and our choices matter, so we’ll talk about the ingredients we use and why we love them. Processed foods have no place here. Making food from natural ingredients is creative and fun. Spiralized carrots, anyone?
The next part of the day is called Honey-Do. I have realized that the two-way path of giving and receiving is a blessing children should be given, so for twenty minutes by the stove timer they get to do small and valuable chores for me. The options are written on sticky notes, the tasks are enjoyable, and the end results satisfying.
The rest of our afternoon is spent in crafting and skills – not throwaway junk but creations of value and use. Crocheting, knitting, card making, sewing, nature-craft and seasonal decorations are some examples that come to mind at this early stage. As we craft, we will converse, or enjoy the silences. It doesn’t get much better than this.