Ten Years Of Tuesdays

Tuesdays are days of laughter.
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> This year, its our new regular gig – but for the past ten years of ‘Tuesdays’ they have been filled with gathering toys, cleaning fingerprints off windowpanes, storing leftovers, rewinding the garden hose and storing plastic buckets, fastening the screen back down around the vegie patch, picking burs out of tiny jumpers, cleaning kangaroo poo off tricycle wheels, pegging wet mini-clothing on a line in the sun, wiping water-colour paint off the table and chairs, school drop-offs and pre-school pick-ups, sneaking a quick breath during nap time, until the little one rises again full-pelt and full-strength. > On ‘Tuesdays’ – code name for babysitting – Hubby & I get to play all day.
> I don’t think we ever laugh so much as when hanging out with our little people, our grandchildren.
> I laugh. Lots. Out loud. And sometimes they might cock their tiny heads on the side and give me the weirdest look, like ‘what’s so funny, Grrranny?’ And I laugh all over again. > My children really have created MAGIC in these mini-people.
> Tuesdays are the special days we get to celebrate in the lives of our offsprings’ offspring.
> I look back over the years of grandparenting we’ve been privvy to… from the far-away travel required for our eldest grandchild’s Tuesdays, to holding the hand of my youngest daughter during delivery of her first daughter.
> My eldest two grandbubbas weren’t born next door as I’d always imagined in my fantasy-dreams where my five children all bought homes in the same street. No, they were actually born so far away we had to trek across the entire nation to see them!
> It was bitter sweet to have little lives to celebrate but to have to do it from afar – via letters, emails, photos, phone calls and our visits!
> Oh I remember frequent visits, involving 12-hour travel days from car to train to bus to plane to taxi to get to our rich tiny Tuesday treasures.
> Though money was scarce for us, even scarcer than it is today – we would somehow find the means to pay for the sojourn all the way across our country – we couldn’t have been further apart if we’d tried – from one coast to the other – right across the centre of the entire nation!
> We probably sacrificed a lot of things for those trips – but seeing our granddaughters was crucial and to this day we can’t recall one single thing that we missed out on to fund those ‘Tuesday’ trips.
> Not much beats the anticipatory thrill of locking-in Tuesday gigs while the parents go away for a night or a weekend or a whole glorious week.
> There’s something very magical about having your grandkids all to yourselves. HeHeHaHa! Yes, of course we love the parents, without them there’d be no ‘Tuesdays’. Nevertheless, how precious that one-on-one time is to us older folk who’s days of bearing children of our own have since passed.
> It’s a new world for us on Tuesdays – getting to know their quirky ways: food tastes, their favourite play, the book they want read over and over, their funny little individual idiosyncrasies that make them rare and beautifully created beings.
> The joy of laughing with them or the drama of trying to get organised for an outing with them. The packing; the last minute poop that needs changing or projectile vomit that manages to cover the entire clean outfit you’ve just struggled to put them into, to say the least of your own new sarong. The bottles and sippy cups, the mashed food, dried fruits, healthy snacks, yogurts and the added ‘naughty’ treats their parents don’t give them. It’s such joy. Such delight!
> One of our daughters needed us for support during the first four months of her first baby – we quickly, willingly, gladly and ably dropped everything and became a vital link in the chain of those pouring love into this delightful little life – everyday felt like Tuesday and we were in our element. Being ‘needed’ whether for an hour, a day, or a month, is an essential element to relationships. People need people. We mustn’t lose that in our busy new world. ‘Tuesdays’ are an essential time for generational blessings to flow. >
> Other than popping out my own five, I’ve experienced the birth of one grandchild. I was in a supporting role and found it one of the most moving, overwhelming experiences and fondest, dearest memories I carry.
> Babysitting siblings for the birth of their next little brother or sister is also a Tuesday gig we feel honoured and privileged to be able to do for our children and grandchildren. >
> Tuesdays rewards are endless and lasting.
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> Recently our son & his wife left their precious cargo with us for some Tuesday time.
> It was a magical time of exploring life alongside her. You see, we have a Tuesday rule, and that is, to not impose rules. Haha pretty good one, yea? This is played out by us simply loving to sit back & watch things unfold. We tend not to direct or instruct play, but rather observe it.
> We’re as fascinated as they are as we watch them figure things out, explore, experiment, investigate and analyse.
> We delight in seeing them click a bright red button on a musical toy and instantly begin to rock or wave their arms around, spin or dance as tunes blare out.
> We love watching them clap hands at their own achievements, knowing instinctively they’ve done something great.
> I love the faces they pull as they explore new foods – flavours, textures, tastes.
> We cherish observing them pick up the soft toys and gather them to their chests to pat them, rock them or hum and croon to them – that instinctive nurturing of another that’s crucial to lasting relationships. >
> And we do so love the smiles and laughter – the laugh out loud, throw your head back gafaws our Tuesdays are rich in. > Each child laughs differently & invokes merriment in various ways.
> But each child’s glee brings the same amount of joy. That overwhelming all-encompassing happiness that you feel deep in your bones, long after your facial muscles have settled back in place. > Our grandchildren are life-givers to us.
> They remind us of the joy in small things: sniffing roses and chasing butterflies. Running after dancing dead leaves that are tumbling as though alive in the wind. A plane in the sky, a truck driving by. The roar of the neighbour’s lawnmower and the laughter of the kookaburra in a tree. >
> Tuesdays always dress differently, are unpredictable in character, and remain a varied and diverse fantasy-world. It can be the deep rest & restoration of a stay-home date. OR the thrill of a day at the beach where every wave brings a new delight – squealing, jumping, falling, swallowing salt water and the filling of buckets. Digging in the sand with spades and destroying sandcastles like they were dragons bringing down kingdoms. Tiny bums in swimming costumes. Straggly wet hair hanging beneath sun hats.
> Tuesdays can be snuggly woollen jumpers in front of the fire or gumboots splashing in the rain. >
> Tuesdays can be gala events: girls in their ‘spinning-dresses’ pirouetteing around the room, dress-ups and tea parties with imaginary food on tiny plastic plates, being served chocolate spiders at make-believe cafes.
> The unique way one grandie loves to gather a collection of small things and yet another finds one favourite toy for the day.
> I love cooking cup cakes with the bigger ones and making faces out of sugary sprinkles on top; and cleaning house as a tiny tot pushes the dirt & dust around the floor you’ve just cleaned, clutching at the giant broom as it topples them over and into the mess. Mopping up spilt drinks and wiping sticky hands.
> Snuggling weary tired bodies that are happy to be held and kissed; or playfully struggling to plant a kiss on the cheek of the busy child who has no time to stop. > Shopping for a special dress.
> Shopping for icecreams.
> Taking a tiny hand in mine as we cross the road at the pedestrian crossing when the green man pops into the crossing-lights – cheering as we reach the other side before the red man stops flashing. > Picking flowers and sniffing up their scent.
> School concerts and pre-school plays.
> Teaching ukulele.
> Watching DVDs with the big ones while the littlies have their nap.
> Snuggles and cuddles and kisses after a fall and the soothing wiping away of tiny tears.
> Remembering to stock the fridge with poppers, the pantry with Twisties and the bathroom cupboard with coloured band aides.
> Not much compares to the fresh scent of them in their pyjamas after their evening bath; books at bed time; the way chubby hands rub tired eyes.
> Tucked in bed with their favourite toy, their special little companion that brings them comfort… or a bed full of fluffy toys because they’re all precious and all deserve to sleep in the big bed with their loving owner.
> It’s only been our first decade of grandparenting and we’re only up to seven cherubs so far, yet our lives have been enriched throughout it. The duty and the joy.
> There’s nothing so beautifully exhausting as having our grandkids to ourselves!! > I can’t wait for Tuesday!
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Luv, joy & happy vibes. Chrissy xx

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