Compared to my “grandbeauties,” the energizer bunny looks comatose. This can have a great affect on someone my age. I try to keep up the pace, but usually end up saying, “Remember when Mr. Kitty went to heaven? Well, Gan Maw\’s going unless we rest a bit.” Giggles follow as there\’s no sympathy from those two—and so, we continue our play.

I\’ve discovered that grandchildren can be such wonderful teachers of life if we take care to observe and learn. They\’re so young and happy, and free to just “be.” Their world consists of playing and make-believe; plus every day and every new thing is an adventure. From the smallest flower blooming, to the A, B, Cs sculptured on walls with permanent markers; they explore, learn, laugh, and love.

My grandchildren taught me that perception truly is everything. For instance, when playing “Hide and Seek,” did you know that one can hide behind the same tree every single time, hundreds of times, and squeals of delight will still sprout forth once you\’re discovered? There\’s no need for a computer game, or hours of TV; just one wide tree and a large can of bug spray.

Another lesson is that flattery really does get you everywhere. One little, “pleaseeee Gan Maw; one more time? You jump/swim/hide/fall better than anybody in the whole world,” and I\’m in. Whether it\’s bouncing a little longer on the trampoline, or swimming in the kiddy-size pool; or even, playing “Hide and Seek,” one more time.

I ultimately give in to “one more time” because I know memories are being etched into their tiny brains, and hopefully these memories will deliver joy and laughter when their hearts need a lift. “Hey Gan Maw, remember that time you busted our trampoline?” Excuse me, but that was faulty manufacturing, thank you very much!

While some of their “teachings” should be immediately dismissed—such as “We\’re putting lipstick on Daddy while he\’s sleeping. Wanna help?” most observations of my grandchildren bring nothing but pure, uncomplicated joy. Truth be told; I rather enjoyed the lipstick thing. Pictures anyone?

I can honestly say I\’m a happier, healthier, and more content person since God blessed me with grandchildren. Nowadays I take time off from my busy schedule to play, and I\’m a kinder, gentler person to others.

You never hear children say, “I don\’t have the time,” or “I wish there were more hours in the day.” They simply use the ones given.

Grandchildren give new meaning to the Buddhist proverb—When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I am a willing student.

Some days, I wonder if there will be more grandchildren. It would bring me great joy to have dozens surrounding me, but if not, that\’s okay. We\’ll just continue to play…one more time.

Georgia Richardson Author, Speaker, Southern Humorist