Keep Smilin’ with Rosie Preston – Be on the lookout for a lost heart

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By Rosie Preston

Every time I watch my loved ones leave in their car from my driveway, I try to capture the memory and the good times we enjoyed during their visit.

My grandson Dakota, his wife Jenn and their 17-month old boy Cecil recently visited from Mississippi. I couldn’t help but observe little Cecil as he quietly and patiently played with the toys we had placed on my exercise mat. He amazed us with his ability to focus and entertain himself. I had bought Cecil a toy that included different shapes to fit in the correct size holes, and I was surprised when he immediately knew what to do. After a while he would clean everything up, only to take the toys out again and play some more.

It is because I spent so many years involved with childcare college classes and later owning two childcare centers that I consider myself eligible to discuss my great-grandson’s attributes. He’s definitely one of a kind!

During Cecil’s visit, I watched him interacting with his parents and stopping on occasion to go to his dad and grab a bite of the peanut butter cookies I had made before they arrived. Cecil would cautiously take one bite at a time until he was ready for another one. You may think I’m being silly comparing him to most children his age, but it just comes naturally to me, as I was in the childcare business for many years. Cecil is mature for his age and very much in tune with his surroundings.

After Cecil had played for a bit, his dad turned the television to his favorite channel. Cecil watched the TV a few minutes before he began to emulate the lady on the screen. He soon was dancing and enjoying the show! While the TV lady was conducting a counting lesson from the numbers one to 10, Cecil would wait and wait until she said, “Eight,” at which point he proudly shouted “Eight!” with her. We were enthralled with Cecil’s enjoyment of living in the present.

When I was young, many grandparents would stop me as I shopped. I thought they were quite ridiculous while I pretended to be interested in their grandchildren’s photos. I couldn’t understand it. I do now, but I try not to send out too many photos and videos except to friends and family members who I know are interested.

One of my favorite nighttime fun things to do is watch funny short videos online of babies. I’m constantly laughing at all the humor they bring to so many people. Even strangers, like myself, can’t help but smile.

Several years ago when my children and I were visiting my sister Luann and her family in Anchorage, Alaska, my son asked me why I always talked to babies (who were usually in shopping carts). I always ask the parent if I could communicate with their child before approaching, and most of the babies were happy to smile with me.

Now, I greet myself in the mirror every morning and realize how blessed I am to have lived long enough to get to know my great-grandchildren! We are filled with joy when they enter our home, and when they wave bye from their car, I say to myself, “There goes my heart!”

Keep Smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston at prestonrose.m@gmail.com.

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