Read an Excerpt
Courtney's Love Lesson
The July day was bursting with sunshine and warmth. The kind of day that whispers, "Let's go to the beach."
Fridays were dear to my heart because Friday was my day to baby-sit our beloved grandchildren,Mikey, three years old, and Courtney, two. Taking them to the beach could only make the day more heavenly.Well . . .
What seemed like a wonderful idea at 10:00 A.M. didn’t seem quite so wonderful at 11:00 A.M. as I began unloading the car with all the beach necessities: a blanket, cooler, sand toys, beach towels and two rambunctious toddlers.What in the world had I been thinking? How could I manage all this by myself from the parking lot, which was a city block away from Lake Michigan’s edge?
"Dear God, help me," I prayed as I stood there a wee bit overwhelmed, waiting for the morning's estrogen to kick in and calm me down. Just then a group of young, strong men walked by.
"Excuse me," I said. “Would you like to carry some of these things for us? The children are so excited, and I just can't do it all."
The taller of the three, blond and tanned like a California surfer, smiled and answered, "I'd be happy to help. I remember,
as a kid, my Gram taking me to the beach."
A short time later, we wished our godsends a happy day as we staked out our homestead a foot from the water's edge and began building a secret tunnel that would take us to Disney World.Mikey was eager to play in the water, splash and “swim,”
but not Courtney, for the vastness of Lake Michigan and the rolling waves seemed to frighten her.Mikey and I played in the water as Courtney sat in the sand contentedly digging, filling and emptying her pail. No amount of coaxing could persuade her to come into the water.
Suddenly, a strong wind came up, and Gramma's straw beach hat took wings and sailed out across the waves.
"Gram, your hat!" Mikey screamed excitedly.
"I guess it wanted to go swimming, too." We laughed,
watching as the waves carried it further out. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw Courtney step into the water, her little feet taking small, determined steps.
"Court, you're in the water?" Mikey shouted gleefully.
"Me get Gramma's hat," she answered as one little foot was placed in front of the other.
I stood there in the presence of the Lord, who had created this beautiful day, and these grandchildren who lived within my soul, and tears fell from my eyes. Here was a child, so filled with pure love, that her fears were overlooked as she stepped into the water to rescue Gramma’s hat.
Scooping Courtney into my arms I whispered, "I love you so much," as we waved good-bye to the beach hat. A five-dollar special at Kmart had taught me a million-dollar lesson.
Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul