Brody: Little children should lead us

Published 9:37 am Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Once again, here I sit in my new recliner going through all my memories to find the best life lessons to share with you.

Suddenly, one popped up in my heart that has stayed with me since 1998.

It is one taught to me by three of my grandchildren. They’re all grown up today, but their wisdom as little children has never left me.

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You know, children are not just small people. They don’t think like adults do and their values are wonderfully simple. They seem to react honestly to life, and this can create many memorable moments.

One summer I visited my grandchildren at their home in Colorado. When we ended our visit together, a few memories of being together stuck fast to my memory and my heart.

Let me share them with you.

Kyle was almost 9, but his love to snuggle remained. He still loved sitting in laps and was not afraid to show his feelings.

There is this oversized leather chair in the living room, and one evening, Kyle and I were sharing it.

As we talked about things like school and his saxophone lessons and his friends, his hand was absently touching my hair, my face, my neck. It felt like he was experiencing me without focusing.

Kyle was familiar with intimacy because the entire family holds and touches a lot. I was just thinking this when he suddenly stopped his conversation and focused on my face.

His finger slowed and he brought his face very close to mine. His fingers began tracing either side of my mouth, my cheeks, my eyelids.

I sat very still. In a few moments he said quietly, “Mema, you’re wrinkles are so soft and feel so nice.”

Now it’s not the best thing to say to a woman that she even has wrinkles. I laughed, but when I looked at his serious face, it told me he was loving me and the same wrinkles I resented make my grandson happy to touch.

I no longer resented them quite so much. It was simply part of aging. Thank you, Kyle.

Then there was the morning Kelsey, our 6-year-old granddaughter flung open my bedroom door, pushed my nice warm covers down and said, “Mema, get up! I have a present for you! Hurry!”

You need to know I am not a morning person. When my own children were growing up, they used to take turns making me a cup of coffee in the morning, bringing it to my bed and then fleeing. Nobody wanted to encounter Mom in the early a.m.

Of course, Kelsey knew nothing of my dark side, so she dared to barge in on my sleeping self.

“A present for me Kelsey? What is it?”

She practically yanked me to my feet.

“I’ll show you Mema. Come on. Come on. Hurry up!”

I grabbed my robe, and off we went, my eyes struggling to stay open and my brain trying to wake up. She pulled me into the sunroom where all of the walls are glass and overlooking the yard.

“There! There is your present Mema,” she said smiling ear to ear.

I looked. I saw nothing wrapped up. I saw no box, no ribbons, no gift.

“Where Kelsey? I don’t see a present.”

“There,” she said as only a 6 year old could say. “Look at the beautiful morning outside. That’s your present Mema. It’s yours!”

I just stood there in the very early morning with this wise little blond child. How many thousands of beautiful mornings had I seen but never recognized its beauty and certainly never perceived it as a present for me.

This little girl held the beautiful morning and she wanted to give it to her Mema as a gift. It literally dropped me to my knees.

Feeling so humble at that moment, I told her this was one of the most precious gifts anyone had given to me. Gathering her close to me, I thanked my granddaughter for her amazing insight.

While I was still on my knees, I thanked God for little children to lead the way for us all.

The last day together, my grandson Taylor, Kelsey’s twin, and I took a walk in the woods behind the house.

As we walked hand-in-hand, he suddenly broke away from me and ran up to this wondrous tree just ahead. That little boy flung his arms to stretch as far around the trunk as possible.

Taylor announced to me and to the world, “When I grow up, I’m going to marry a tree!”

There were three little children who were more wise than many older adults about how to find joy and give joy to others.

Now all we adults have to do is learn to listen.

The view from mountain is wondrous.

Jean Brody is a passionate animal lover and mother. She previously lived in Winchester, but now resides in Littleton, Colorado. Her column has appeared in the Sun for more than 25 years.