May 21, 2008
The Amazing Health Benefits
and Healing Power of...
grandchildren! Yes, truly. But of course a major obstacle to this incredible better-living breakthrough is that your children have to decide to have their children for you to acquire these much-sought-after health benefits.
Just how do grandchildren offer amazing health benefits and healing powers? Well, first and foremost perhaps is that they can get us to move when little else can. And darned if we don't completely forget our little aches and pains when playing catch with a granddaughter or tag with a grandson. They ask us to take them to the playground, and how can we just sit there? So, we find ourselves twirling on a swing, or skidding down a slide. And laughing. And you know how good laughter is for your health!
Grands keep our minds young in so many ways. We have to read to them of course, and then there are the card games and board games. I don't know about you but I have developed absolutely endless patience for playing Uno and cribbage, Quiddler and chess, war and checkers. When I'm playing rummy or Skip-bo with one of the grands, it feels as though there's nothing else in the world that could possibly be more important.
And then there's the challenge of "getting" all their silly jokes. Sometimes it's hard to... simplify... my thinking to catch on to the hilarious (well, in their view) stream of "knock,knock" jokes. And kids, the grands, just see things differently, and trying to go to that place and see things their way often requires mental gymnastics that must leave the mind more flexible!
But, there's also another, far more serious way in which grandchildren are good for our health: we will do things for them, to ensure being part of their futures, that we might very well skip or neglect otherwise. We need to stop here for just a minute....just in case you're thinking, but wait, I'd do those things for my KIDS, too. When my kids were younger I would have done anything humanly possible - and tried things far beyond that - for each and every one of them. But now that they are all adults, people with rich and full lives, it's different. The most important thing I learned in ten years of teaching middle school was how very important grandparents are to their grandchildren! What I will do for myself in the name of the grandchildren is of course, so much what I would have done for my children; it's just so, so much harder at this age!
Now what prompts this whole reflection? For me, continued high blood pressure readings came head-to-head with my deep-rooted aversion to medications. The alternative - and it admittedly might still not be enough - is to drop 20 pounds. Easier said than done of course, especially the older I get.
But in the past month Bert and I have shared both of the grands' birthday, a tradition I truly treasure. I want to be there for when Baxter becomes a teenager, when he gets his first car, and when he heads off to college. I want to be there when Katie becomes a teenager, goes to her first prom, and heads off to college. And I certainly want to dance at both their weddings. So, for them, although I have no intention of letting them in on this, I will take medication AND take off 20 pounds. Since I wrote "Buy Lean, Cook Light, Eat Less, Move More," I've lost almost 6 pounds so I know it will happen. Maybe then I can give up the medication!
There is a special joy in loving your child's child, isn't there!