His English is all but gone, just a few words here and there. He isn't sure how it happened exactly, but said he just can't remember anymore. Maybe it was his retirement this year, or no daily practice. But for whatever the reason, he is returning to where he started; the language that is closest to his heart.
As I try to jog my own mind and revive my Spanish, I wonder exactly how I am going to do the two week long visit. I pretend we are in an exotic land on a sort of linguistic adventure, even though it is just my kitchen. While I fumble through, my daughter seems to have no problem at all.
He sits beside her, and she brings him her beloved red boots. She climbs on his lap as if she's done it a million times before even though this is only the second time she has ever seen him in her short little life. He gently slides each foot in, and she wiggles off, and then holds out her hand.
She leads him by his first finger all over the backyard for close to an hour. She stops. He stops. She picks up a rock or picks a forbidden flower, and he smiles so patiently like any abuelo would. When he tries to sit, she pulls him up, and he laughs, in total servanthood to the power of her cuteness. Her insistence mixed with a deep instant connection; there is no language required. Love is the only necessity, and they both have truck loads of that.
I am in awe of the way they seem to know each other, with no words, no history. There is some kind of old generational love, a knowing that this person knew you before you were ever born. It is unconditional, given so freely, so pure. I wonder how we lose this part of ourselves and maybe find it again as we age. The place and time where everything becomes so simple, everything peeled back, all that really matters remains.
While I sit from my kitchen table and watch them, I am overwhelmed by the power of love. How far and wide it can travel, how nothing can stand in its way, even when there are no words.
Do your children have a special connection with their grandparents? Do you do something to cultivate it or is it just there? Do share your favorite grandparent stories in the comments section today. We would love to read them.