As featured in North Hawaii News November 16, 2015
For those of you who have seen your child joyfully run into the arms of your parent, you may understand that it is extremely heartwarming. I recently experienced a powerful moment between my mom and seven-year-old daughter. Mom lives on the mainland and when my daughter opened the front door after school, surprise, there was Grammy! The screams and giggles echoed through the house as she ran to Grammy and they embraced. My daughter kept saying, “I can’t believe you’re really here. Is this a dream?”
In that moment, I was overwhelmed by the pure, boundless joy that my daughter expressed at the sight of my mother. Many times we become so occupied creating a dynamic between our children and older relatives that we do not realize the power of their own genuine relationships. The reason that intergenerational therapy is so successful in long-term care is because of what happens in the hearts of older adults when they experience the true nature of children.
With the holidays upon us, families are likely to come together in larger quantities than usual. Should this occur for you, I would like to encourage stepping back and observing the beauty of the generations interacting. Resist the urge to step in and tell a child how they should behave with an older adult so you can witness the magic that can happen when they are left to their own memory creation. It may not involve screams and giggles, but it will be theirs to share.
My daughter and I will be visiting the mainland in Dec. and will have the opportunity to have four generations under one roof. Moments like these are to be savored and I want to show appreciation to you for reading my column and giving me an opportunity to internalize and acknowledge experiences like this. In this month of thankfulness, I would like to share my gratitude with my mother for being such a powerful force in the life of my daughter. Not only have you always been a great strength for me personally, but as Charly’s Grammy you have filled my cup beyond measure. Thank you.