As usual, on Saturday, I spent the day with my granddaughter. We played all day. Literally. We played with stickers for two hours and from there we had computer time, book time, music time, exercise time, chalk and marker time, and sitting on the porch being silly time. We are just silly a lot and sometimes that includes "posing" in front of the camera, singing silly songs, or just sitting there making faces at each other. On Saturday, we ended up putting stickers all over our faces and taking a picture.
We play like this every time we are together. Someone asked me how long this might continue and I have to admit, I hope forever! I realize that as she gets older the silly time and playing will look very different. I remember having silly moments with one of my Grandmothers when I was in my 40's so yes - I do plan to have these moments for a very long time.
Children need people in their life who will spend time with them just letting them be themselves, however that looks. I certainly do not advocate for dangerous or illegal behavior, but sometimes adults need to expose themselves to different ideas. Kids go through phases when they experiment with clothing styles or too much make-up or trying risky skateboard stunts. I can't imagine watching Avery going through a "goth" phase but I sure can see her wanting to try her skills doing an ollie or a boardslide with a skateboard! She loves to dance so I am hoping to attend some ballet recitals some day. But if not ballet, whatever she wants to try.
I understand that as she begins to make friends her own age, Gaga time will diminish, especially after she starts school. I will then have to share her time with many others who share her interests. As she enters the teen years I fully expect to be grouped with all of the other "not cool" adults although, I will rank slightly higher than her parents during that phase of her life because she will know that I love her unconditionally (even though her parents will too, she will not admit that during the terrible teens) and that if she ever feels disappointment from her parents and others, we will talk about it and move on to focus on what she does right.
Yes, I dread the time when she would rather go with her friends than come to Gaga and Poppy's house. I anticipate crying a little when she tells me that she has decided to attend an out of state college or accepted her dream job miles away. Or that she has fallen in love, will be getting married, and will move away to raise her family. (If moving away from family ever becomes an option - which I fully expect to advocate strongly against). But for now, I will appreciate every minute I can get with her, playing silly games, snuggling up to watch Sesame Street or the favorite movie of the week, and kissing and hugging 40 times just leaving to go home. These moments are building a solid foundation for the future and will influence not only how she engages with others, but how she loves, parents her children, and acts with her own grandchildren some day.