Editor’s note: This column is the second in a two-part series.
The last article I wrote was about Easter being special. It was special because my 6-month-old grandson, Alex, came to our house. It was his first Easter. It was the first time I saw him crawl.
Along the way, I discovered if I really wanted to communicate with Alex, I needed to get on his level. What I mean by that is I needed to get on the floor and get eye-to-eye with him. I had to travel with him on my hands and knees to see what the world looked like from his point of view.
We played for quite a while on the floor. He showed me stuff and I showed him stuff. He verbalized things that I did not understand, but I know it was him trying to communicate with me. I am sure I said a lot of things to him he could not quite figure out, but both our communications involved an exchange of love.
I do not sit still very well. I tend to always have some kind of project going on. It might be work-related or it might be recreational, but I just have a hard time sitting still.
Sometimes I have a difficult time shutting off my mind. So, even if I am trying to watch a television show with my wife, or if I am at a play at the Encore Series, my mind seems to be racing on trying to figure out something, or worried about something that is going on.
I thought it was pretty amazing when I was crawling on the floor with Alex that my total attention was on him. All I cared about was spending that precious time that we had together, one on one.
Alex was at our home Saturday evening and most of Sunday. He went to church. I was that obnoxious grandparent holding my grandson, so proud of him. I feel so blessed to have a grandson. I am so blessed to have that time to spend with him.
It was so interesting after Alex left. I certainly was heartsick that I was not going to see him for a while, but, do you know what I discovered?
I discovered that I had really taken a time out. My mind had been totally on Alex; it was not on work; it was not on projects that I needed to get done; it was on Alex.
For a while, Alex helped me relax. For a while, Alex helped me remember what was important in much of my life.
Many times I have families come to me with so much going on. Perhaps there has been a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or some other chronic illness. Perhaps there is a situation with an adult child and that child’s marriage. Perhaps there are financial issues. Perhaps there is the prospect of needing long-term care.
My hope is that they will all have an Alex event in their life: A time when they can completely shut down, relax, and enjoy the moment.
Alex is only six months old, but he has already reminded me of a lot of important things in life, such as taking time to be with my family.
Alex, thanks for a great Easter. I am looking forward to many, many more.
Randy Clinkscales founded Clinkscales Elder Law Practice in 1985. He is a 1980 graduate of Washburn Law School.