“Grandma, can I help?”
With a gentle smile, I glance down at the eager eyes filled with a questioning look. It would be so much easier to simply shoo this little one back into the other room, but what fun would that be.
“Sure, Honey, grab your chair.”
A gleeful earsplitting yell of joy echoed off the walls of the small kitchen, quickly joining the noise of chair legs being dragged across the floor.
“This is going to be fun. I love you, Grandma!”
“I love you too, little one.” My heart filled anew with love for this child of my child. Renee was spending the afternoon with me and wanted to do crafts, sew or clean as she followed me from room to room. So as we stood in one accord, shoulder to miniature shoulder, we coated the bit-size pieces of chicken and carefully placed them in the hot skillet. Pint-sized hands stirred the pans of rice and green beans with an occasional too quick of a turn splattering the liquid onto the stove top.
‘Oh well, it will clean up,’ slipped through my mind, as outwardly I cautioned Renee to slow down.
Memories flitted through my mind of my own daughter at this same age as we worked on projects in the kitchen. She was now a grown woman with four daughters of her own creating memories of a lifetime. But today, it was my turn with this young one as we laughed and talked while preparing the chicken nuggets. I could only pray, this was a memory Renee would carry to adult hood, of small talk, a simple meal and lots of love filling the room, much like the bubbling food that filled the pots and pans.
Other memories of long ago came into my mind as well; only this time of me as a young girl close to the same age as the one standing beside me. “Mama, can I help?” How many times had Mama heard those same words from me? My heart’s desire was to be just like Mama, cooking, sewing and do for others, the same way I saw her do for those she cared about.
“Yes, honey. You are certainly old enough to start learning how to cook. Before you know it, you will be married and have your own children.” With wide-eyes, I could not imagine ever being that old. Just as quickly, I flung the thought aside as I excitedly jumped up at the prospect of digging little fingers deep within the biscuit dough.
“Wash your hands…” Mama’s distant voice faded as I turned to answer Renee’s newest question.
Yet now, I was a grandma. Those days that Mama spoke of came so swiftly and were long gone. Now my joy came from sharing this time with each granddaughter. Tears rapidly filled my eyes, with one spilling over. ‘Oh, Mama, I wish you were here to see this little one. You would have loved them so much…’
“Grandma, are you crying? Did I do something wrong?” Young eyes filled with concern and a little fear.
“No darling, not at all. These are just tears of joy. I am just having so much fun spending this time with you. Oops, we need to turn those chicken nuggets now.”
“Thank you Lord, for the chance to share in the life of this little one You have so graciously placed in our care. Teach me to be faithful to plant seeds of Your love and hope in her heart and the hearts of her sisters.” My swift heart-felt prayer sped to the throne of grace before I returned my full attention back to the pint-size model standing on a chair beside me.
Once more laughter and small talk filled the room, or at least the little bit of space remaining from the overflow of love.
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