Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sit. Come. Thank you. - Eleanor Shepherd

Now that my children are now in their thirties and forties, it is time for the next generation to step in and continue my education. It starts young. My granddaughter, Sanna is nearly two, and her vocabulary is increasing every day.  If find that the words she uses remind me of important principles I need to remember.

One of Sanna's first words was, "Sit."  The first time I heard her use the word, we had taken her out for lunch with a friend who was visiting.  She was in her highchair at St. Hubert BarBQ enjoying her chicken fingers.  My husband was making sure everyone had what they needed: napkins, straws, and all the essentials.  Sanna patted the bench beside her and said, "Sit, Gammpa!"  She would not stop until Glen took his place beside her and joined her in eating his meal.  Her two words were a reminder to use our opportunities to stop and enjoy the time we have with those we love.  Although we might busy ourselves doing things for them, we need to offer them our presence, sitting with them and enjoying their company.

Sanna offered her invitation to sit with her one morning, as I dropped off something at her home on my way to work.  As soon as I walked into the living room, she ran to me holding out Barnyard Dance and patting the sof ordering me to, "Sit!"  with her and read. How I was tempted to let my responsibilities go and take the time to read to her, especially when it is one of my favourite activities.  However, I knew that I had to go to work.  I promised that I would return later to read to her.  She reminded me that when we cannot immediately take the time to be with those we love, we can put it on our agenda so we do not neglect the things that are important.  Thank you Sanna for reminding me that I need to plan sometimes to take time to sit with you and sometimes just to do it spontaneously.

Another powerful word Sanna has added to her vocabulary is, "Come."  This is accompanied by a gesture where she puts her hand out in front of her with the palm up and waves her fingers towards herself, to the accompaniment of her invitation to, "Come, come!"  Usually she wants to show me something.  Sometimes she wants me to take her where she wants to go but is reluctant to venture out on her own.  She wants the security of my presence as she dares to step out into a new adventure.

I find it awfully hard to resist her invitation when she waves those little fingers at me and invites me to come.  I still love adventure and to discover the world again through the eyes of a twenty-two month old, is exciting.  She wants to show me the antics of the bird in the tree just outside my window, so we can laugh together.  She wants to make friends with the dog in the elevator my neighbour is taking for a walk.  She wants to see where the path through the trees in the park is going to take us.  There are all kinds of new friends to meet and new places to go, and it is so much more fun to do this together.  Plus, new adventures are a lot less scary if someone we trust goes with us.
Sanna reminds me there is no shame in being afraid to try something alone.  In addition, the level of fun and satisfaction increase for our escapades when these are shared.  Thank you little girl for this reminder.
Sanna is learning three languages: English, French and Swedish.  She knows that as adults, different people have mastered these, so she tries to accomodate to us.  When we give her something, she will often reply, "Merci!"  If we fail to react to that, she will switch and say, "Tank you."  In her own limited way, she seeks to respond to others in a way that is appropriate to them.  What a great reminder this is to me that I need to try to do the same.  I cannot expect that everyone will see the world as I do.  As a writer, I need to try and use words that help others understand what I want to say in a way that is meaningful to them.  Communicating in a way that is appropriate and respectful of others is useful in all areas of life.  What a good lesson from a toddler!

Although her vocabulary may be small, it is powerful.  In using her words, Sanna  helps me remember important principles.  Sit. Come. Thank you. These will take her a long way.  Together we can learn to put them into practice.                    
Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Eleanor, your delightful reflections illustrate that we are never too old to learn, and that being around children provides a continuing education.
Lovely pics . . . Sanna's adorable! :)

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