They are sugar and spice and everything nice.
They are instant sunshine, barefooted angels wearing tattered blue jeans and sparkly T-shirts. They are small arms that hug ferociously and eyes so blue you can swim in them.
They are fun. They are warm and cuddly. They are lovely and they are better than a new Easter outfit or a chocolate bunny.
And the best thing about them is they call me grandma.
But, as much as I love all the feminine energy packaged up in their lithe little bodies, it’s the boys in my family who remind of the KISS rule.
Keep it simple, silly!
The oldest grandson, a 10-year-old version of the kind of guy you would want to take home to your mother, taught me, in his own quiet, unassuming way, how important it is to forget all the trivia that goes on around you and just focus on the here and now.
And then he taught me, not by words, but by actions, the importance of self-talk.
He is so quiet and gentle. He is the kind of kid grandmas such as I can brag about as a child who would not start a fight, much less get in one, a young man who abhors violence and no doubt, will grow up seeking peace and unity and love for all mankind in all the world.
And so when he broke that board with his bare hand while wearing some sort of white outfit tied with a striped yellow belt, I was, to say the least, taken aback.
I watched him do it, my mouth forming a surprised ‘O’ as he confidently walked up to the guy holding the board and razor chopped it in two.
Later, when we were driving in the car to a celebration dinner, he told me he knew he would do it.
“How,” I asked?
“I told myself I could,” he said, matter-of-factly. “And I did.”
Boy power continues to invade my world, arriving at my house the other day in the form of two preschoolers who came, destroyed, ate and then left.
They left happy with full tummies, leaving fingerprints all over my window. They are still there, the fingerprints. And when I look at them, once again I am reminded of two little boys who said without saying it: “Grandma, being neat and tidy isn’t important, we are.” And somehow just by gracing my house with their little boy selves for a few short hours, they turned it into a home.
And I like that way better.
My son also clued me in to what is really important when he called the other night.
“Mom, they traded Ignila,” he said incredulously.
I smile into the phone and all the worries of the day melt into nothingness.
What? You’re kidding! The fact Jerome Iginla is a 35-year-old veteran player who has played for the Calgary Flames for 16 years momentarily eluded both of us.
Iginla was and still is our hero.
We elevated him to that status because we, like everyone, needed a hero and Ignila who seemed to be made of hero like stuff, fit the bill.
And so my son and I chatted about important stuff like the trading of heroes and when I hung up I had flashbacks of a Flames hockey game and the really good feeling I had being there with my son, munching on popcorn and yelling, “Go Flames, Go.”
Boys! Noise with dirt! That’s the sign posted on my grandson’s bedroom wall.
It’s probably true. I hope so. It’s more than enough for this grandma to make her smile.
— ON THE OTHER SIDE