Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Grampa Bozo

My grandparents have been in town, and my Grampa Bozo (the kids' great-grandpa) has been an inspiration to me on how to give attention to my kids. He is fully enamored with them. Everything they do and say is of complete interest to him.

He spent almost an hour playing with a toy from the dollar store with my 3 year old daughter. They would point out the colors that shone through the lights while the toy played music. No exaggeration; almost an hour.

When my oldest son was practicing his piano songs (Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Skip to My Lou), my Grampa Bozo sat, chin resting in his hand, rapt with attention as if listening to a concert pianist. No words, no enthusiastic, patronizing applause to make my son feel good about himself. Just undivided attention.

When my kids are in the front yard playing soccer or football, my Grampa just watches from the sidelines. No, not "watches" as in playing yard duty, but "watches" as in studying, taking the play habits of my children in.

And my kids just adore him. My three year old likes to play "snob" to people she isn't around often. She likes to give dirty looks and turn her head away to get people to beg for her attention. No snobbiness with Grampa Bozo though. Just joy at being around him.

He isn't a kid-type of person in the sense that he likes arts and crafts or speaks in a sing-song voice that kids like. He is a kid-type of person in that somehow, his spirit connects with their's in a personal, heartfelt way. He doesn't patronize; he is truly interested in them. He doesn't need to dish out compliments left and right to make them feel good about themselves; the look in his eyes does that instead.


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