NANA’S HOUSE by Teresa Bell Kindred
Now that I’m staying home more, I’m finding different ways to use my time. I find that if I stay busy, I’m in a much better mood than if I have too much idle time on my hands, especially since I’m not able to see my grandchildren except on the computer. Here’s what I’m doing to keep busy:
1. Reading. I polled my friends and asked for book recommendations and got some great ones. My mother was a teacher who loved to read, and I do too. I keep a stack of books on my bedside table (the Bible’s always on top), and I make sure my grandchildren know I love books and that they see me reading. It’s a great way to encourage them to become avid readers.
2. Walking my pets. My grandchildren love to go for walks down my driveway. I admit it’s not as much fun walking my dogs without them, but it’s great exercise and keeps me moving! Walking not only promotes heart health but also helps our bones.
3. Planting seeds. It’s a little early in Kentucky to plant seeds outside, but you can sew them in a container or pot and then transplant them outside when it’s warm enough. Make photos of your seeds and seedlings as they grow and share with your grandchildren. Better still, send them their own package of seeds and tell them you are going to have a “growing race” to see whose seeds grow the fastest. They will love watching and talking with you about what you have planted.
4. Catching up on correspondence. I learned a long time ago that there is no substitute for a handwritten letter or note. My mother wrote me letters while I was in college and I cherish them. While you’re home it’s a great time to send a “thank you” note to someone who has done something kind for you, or a note of encouragement to someone who is lonely. Everyone loves getting something in the mail other than bills and junk mail—grandkids included. Go ahead and make someone’s day—send them a card or letter.
5. Updating family photo albums to make sure all the pictures are labeled. One day your grandchildren will appreciate knowing who the people are in their Nana’s photo album! In addition to writing names, include a short comment like, “This was made at Aunt Louise’s 50th birthday party.” That will help them place the picture in context with their ancestors’ lives.
6. Reading my grandchildren a book every night before bedtime via FaceTime. Not only do they enjoy the book, but you will enjoy connecting with them and reminding them that Nana loves them.
7. Listening to music. I downloaded a music app and put together a playlist of favorites (oldies of course). This not only makes me walk faster down my driveway, it makes me happy.
I’m no different than any other Nana—I miss my grandchildren. However, I am determined to stay busy and stay positive until this is over and I can see them again. How about you? How are you staying positive and busy?
Teresa Kindred is a freelance writer, former teacher, and author of several books, including The Faith-Filled Grandmother. She’s the mom of five grown children and “Nana” to six precious grandchildren. She and her husband live in Kentucky. Her blog for grandparents is at NanaHood.com.