As a grandmother, I am guilty of slipping into that role at times when I think it is one of my "Noni" jobs to "teach" or "guide" or "share nuggets of age-filled wisdom" with my grandchildren ....so I especially love it when they reverse those roles. It happened ... again .... this past Monday.
Our four year old grandson, George, wanted to set up the kids' Christmas tree in the library. We are a family that tromps through muddy farm fields, cuts the "perfect" tree, then strings the lights and adds the ornaments while enjoying that exhilarating scent of pine. It is often an all day process.
But this extra little tree is an exception. It is plastic and lives in a box in the basement. He knew there was a possibility that for the first time this year, we would set up his Bapa's childhood electric train to travel around this small tree so was impatient to get going.
As we trudged the box up from below, he lamented that it always takes SOOOOOOO (insert whine) long to put the lights on. In full-on Noni, I started to offer "good things take time" ..... but then reminded myself to stow it and instead reminded him that this was an artificial tree that you just plug in .... a fact he appreciated moments later when he got to push the dangling cord into the socket. He uttered a low "wow", stared for a bit, then got busy hanging the age-old ornaments.
A full two hours later, long after the tree was complete, we were playing boats in front of it... waiting.. and waiting... and waiting for Bapa to get the electric train set ready to put around the tree (good things DO take time, I guess.) George kept stopping his play to look at the tree lights. Finally....
"Noni, it's amazing about those lights." I waited. He looked at the tree again. Then with a small grin, like he was using a word he'd learned but hadn't tried on yet .... "It's a miracle."
As a typical Grandma, I was proud (as I think he was) of his expanding vocabulary. But what has stayed with me all week was his reminder to me to notice, to look for miracles, to find the sacred while I wait in this Advent Season for Christmas to come.
Without his age-filled wisdom, I might have missed a lot of Wonder.
Thank you, Georgie.