After a busy morning and afternoon, it was with great joy that I picked up my granddaughter Aubrey from school. We got to hang out for a couple of hours before joining other family members for dinner at one of Aubrey’s favorite restaurants.
Being with Aubrey is like being with a young version of myself. Watching her, listening to her ageless wisdom, I am reminded of my own childhood hopes and dreams, and of my own gifts and abilities.
This afternoon we engaged in activities that are meaningful to both of us. We watched Doctor Who together. Like my grandson Dayan, Aubrey loves this amazing series and surprises me with her depth of understanding. We’ve adopted the 10th Doctor’s favorite word, allons-y, which is French for “let’s go”, as our own. We colored together, using Crayola colored pencils in my new Doctor Who coloring book.
It was too nice of a day to spend the afternoon indoors. We wandered around the backyard garden together. I pointed out plants and flowers and told Aubrey the names. She listened attentively and repeated them back to me. At seven years old, she is already interested in planting flowers of her own. I’d like to allow each of my grandchildren to plant and tend to their own small garden patch, if he or she so desires.
It was as I watched her scamper with ease up the redbud tree that I thought about how Aubrey holds up a mirror for me, allowing me glimpses of the child that I once was. Like me, Aubrey is intuitive and empathic, sensing energy and spirit, picking up on the emotions of others, especially those who are sad or in pain. Unlike the younger version of me, she is unafraid and matter of fact about her abilities, even if she doesn’t always understand why she does what she does.
Where I hid who I was, in fear and confusion, Aubrey simply accepts who she is. She is yet too young to realize how much compassion and healing she has brought to the small child within me. That wee Cindy, bit by bit, has learned to offer her gifts shyly to me as an adult now willing to embrace my whole self.
I am grateful that Aubrey doesn’t know the fearful, anxious person I once was. The greatest gift I can offer to my grandsons, to my granddaughter, is to model what a fearless, creative, comfortable in your own skin life looks like. It is my great privilege to walk alongside the boys and Aubrey, offering into their lives, accepting their offerings in return.
As Aubrey is a beautiful reflection of my past, I am a reflection for her, of future possibilities. She reflects understanding and acceptance to my inner child. I reflect hope and promise to the woman she is growing into. I appreciate this lovely child so much. I may just surprise her one day, and climb up to join her in the tree. Oh, the things we could then see together from that vantage point.