Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my Granny. If I’m cooking a roast, in my mind I’m in her kitchen smelling those mouth-watering smells and tasting the deliciousness of her cooking. When I’m making the bed I hear her remind me that a neatly made bed belongs to someone who keeps a tidy house. When I’m at church I see her intently listening to the sermon and taking it to heart. When I’m in the garden I remember all the time she spent teaching me to can beans, make jelly and wilted lettuce, transplant flowers, and all sorts of other things we enjoyed doing together.
In all of these things (and more) it’s not so much what was taught, but rather how it was taught—through experiences.
A few days ago, I had the joy of seeing Granny’s talent for experience-giving being passed down to her great-great-granddaughter—my three year-old granddaughter, Laney. I knew many of Granny’s lessons had been passed from me to my children because they had been blessed to have lots of “Granny experiences”, too. But when my daughter Elizabeth called to ask John and I to come ‘meet’ their new baby chicks and share Laney’s excitement about her new experience, I felt it was kind of like passing down a legacy of sorts—the legacy that is providing my grandchildren the experiences they need in order to fully enjoy being a kid.
Granny knew that the best way to teach me where things come from was to allow me to be there for the whole process. She knew the best way for me to learn from my mistakes was to let me make them—even if it meant eating flat rolls or killing a plant. She knew the best way to teach me to cook was to let me cook. She knew the best way to teach me I wasn’t big enough to carry the watermelon by myself was to let me try—even though that meant we all had to suffer the consequences of it being dropped and busted open on the gravel. She knew experiences make a much deeper and lasting impression than watching someone else do it for you.
She knew that in giving me and my kids the experiences of childhood we would be better for it. And now we’re taking up where Granny left off by doing the same for the new generation of children in our family.
How about it? Will you give your kids the experiences they need to get the most out of their childhood?
Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.