Will He Remember?

Will He Remember?

From Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul

Will He Remember?

What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.

Alfred Mercier

I have a confession to make. I am in love with a younger man.

It is a deep and lasting love unlike any other I have experienced. When we are together, all is well with the world. When we are apart, I long for his presence to fill the ache in my heart. For over four years, his unconditional love has completed me like the last piece of a puzzle. I now understand when poets and romanticists describe how they would lay down their life for someone they love. I would do the same.

The object of my affections is my only grandchild. I marvel at being a grandmother, but I wear it well, like a comfortable coat that feels right. I wonder why I do, since I have little experience of having a grandmother myself. My maternal grandmother died before I was born. My paternal grandmother lived in Europe, and I only recall her visiting us once. When I was about fifteen, my parents sent her a plane ticket to come to Canada for my sister’s wedding. She came, but the language differences made it difficult for us to communicate. I wondered what she felt when her son packed up his family and moved across the ocean so many years ago. I wished I had known her better. I wished she had come with us. I wished I had memories with her.

I never knew what I missed until I became a grandmother myself. I can barely remember anything until I began school, and even then, they are only half-remembered fragments. My biggest concern is that my grandson will not remember our days together. Time is fleeting; it steals memories of yesteryear, evaporating with the dawn.

Our days together, grandmother and grandson, are filled with fun, learning and play. Some days we just sip at the day, savoring it slowly, and other days we take a deep swallow and taste all it has to offer.

With the consent of his parents, I have been fortunate to be part of many firsts in his young life. I was the first to take him to see Santa at the mall. I took him to his first movie, his first trip to the beach, his first haircut with “a real lady at a real hair-cutting place.” We have enjoyed lunches at restaurants, visits with friends and excursions to museums. We have ridden the bus and the train. We have scoured the neighborhood for garage sales, played in parks, fed the birds, splashed in puddles, raked leaves, picked pine cones and built snowmen. Will he remember any of this?

I wonder if he will remember who taught him how to crack eggs and whisk batter nice and smooth for the pancakes he loves so much. Or how we built a secret fort under the dining room table with blankets. Will he remember who played endless games of Checkers, Candyland, and Chutes and Ladders with him, while teaching him how to lose gracefully? Will he recall who taught him to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on the piano, his little fingers stretching to cover the right keys, his face a study in concentration?

My grandson rejuvenates me. Seeing the world through his eyes is nothing short of wondrous. His energy is refreshing, and his infectious giggle makes me laugh. I pray he will remember the lullabies, the laughter and, most importantly, the love when he is grown and has a family of his own.

Will he remember me?

Maria Harden

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