Charlize recently whisked me away to my happy place:
Lolo and Lola land---that special palace in the sky reserved for those who, having experienced life's worst and best, now find themselves joyfully entrenched in the lives of people so small yet so compelling. Oh yes, compelling enough to have us always thinking and praying for them, and experiencing joy as a result.
We never expected it, but when our first grandkid came, it was joy unspeakable. Each apo afterwards came with her own joy igniter. Joaqui is now ten years old, his sister Charlize six, and their cousin Natalie ten months old.
She was four when İ last saw Charlize in person---in one of my APOstolic works. (Both of our children's families have chosen to make their homes overseas so we've dubbed our visits as APOstolic, or caring for grandkids, missions.)
Creative in every way, Charlize staged her own kiddie shows, made up songs and stories as she went along, sang at the top of her voice especially when "The Sound of Music" or "Annie" played, drew a lot, and asked, "Read mo' books, Wowa," most times.
Thank God for technology, we now bond with our grandkids via Facetime, an app easily downloaded through İpad.
Surprise, suprise, Charlize herself called us the other day! And it came in the middle of me watching "American İdol," my favorite show ever. But when Apo calls, Lola drops everything pronto, even if Ryan Seacrest proves endearing.
Charlize turned out to be more of a darling, too. For more than an hour, she regaled me more than the "İdols" could have:
"We have a lot of fun in school and Miss is so funny." Then came her litany of fun things she does in Year one.
Scrounging for her sketch pad, she shows off her drawings of dresses. She would like to be a fashion designer when she grows up. Hmm, she's got fashion spunk. "You should draw some more," I pipe in.
"Bringing" me to her brother's room, she finds some hand puppets, placing their faces up close to me for a mhwa-mhwa. So I mhwa-mhwa in turn with my hand-turned-puppet from my side of the globe.
Finding her book of nursery rhymes, she reads aloud. Not one or two, but lots! So sweet of her. A few years back, she often asked to be read to.
Now that she could read, she must have thought, "Lola must be so old, I better be the one to read to her." And was I pleased no end!
During all these, Joaqui slipped in and out, making his usual funny faces; and showing off some of his books as I let both of them see the new book I was reading.
But Charlize kept on and on, even if she obviously looked sleepy after more than an hour of chatting. Poor girl, un-savvy yet to exit the scene.
"You should go to bed now," I insisted, making it easy for her to say nitey-nite.
Then I turned off Facetime, glad to have connected with my apos even if they're in Australia and their Lola in the Philippines.
When our children got married and Jack and I found ourselves empty-nesters, we never doubted God's grace to make it well for us.
We've never felt the emptiness, because around us are brothers and sisters, bible study and other friends who've always been there through laugh days and feast days,
bad hair and heart days, and really really bad days.
"We are really blessed," remarked my sister-in-law Papoose, when İ told her recently how great it must be for her and her hubby Tony to have their grandkids Sofia and Maia always coming around or joining them on trips.
A third apo bounded in recently so Lola Papoose has her plate full! Happy full! Apos just a walk away.
However grandparenting catches us, it is still the most blessed season of our lives.
Facetime, Skype, Facebook, call, write, fly, visit, walk over, whatever---make it a point to connect.
The world is never too big for parents and children and grandchildren to cherish each other dearly.
For more grandparenting joys and woes, and assurance of God's wonderful plan for your family, check out "Grandparenting: Happiness and Hard Work," published by OMF Literature and available in OMF Lit, PCBS, National and Powerbooks bookstores.
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