Kids spell love T-I-M-E |

Kids spell love T-I-M-E

The other day, I asked my kids what the best thing was about their grandparents.”The backrubs!” “Fishing!” “The way Grandpa calls me ‘Tweetie!'” they all chimed in. “What about all the great Christmas presents and birthday money?” I wondered. “Oh, yeah. That’s cool, too,” Tweetie offered, and I could see the wheels turning inside her little head trying to remember exactly what she’d gotten from Grandma and Grandpa just a few short months ago for Christmas.I don’t remember ever getting a Christmas gift from my grandma. I think she sent me $5 once for my birthday, and I was so surprised I remember thinking she must be dying and was mailing all her grandchildren what little she had left. Besides, I’m fairly certain that even if home computers had been invented then, there sure wouldn’t be high-speed Internet access in tiny Springfield, Colo., and my grandma wouldn’t have had the foggiest idea how to log on to buy me a GapCard.I’ll tell you what I do remember, though. I remember learning how to make lemon meringue pie in her sunny kitchen. I remember pulling weeds (and the occasional vegetable) with her in her ample garden. I remember how witch hazel cured just about everything. I remember going to church with her. I remember sharing backrubs and the smell of Noxema on her skin as she cuddled with me before I drifted to sleep. I remember her big, hearty and easy laugh. I remember always wanting to be near her.Every spring break and Thanksgiving, and twice in the summers, while many of my friends were headed for sunny beaches or to ski in the high country, we loaded up the wood-paneled station wagon and drove six hours to southeastern Colorado. And my brothers and sister and I would be so excited you’d have thought we were heading for Disneyland.When my grandmother died a few years ago we found dozens of journals she had kept over the years, and I was amazed to read about how much time we had spent together when I was young. She noted whenever I spent the night; when my family had come for a weekend; that she had visited us for a week – or two; that she had talked to me on the phone or had written a letter to me. And it wasn’t just me – all her grandchildren were mentioned in the pages there. All 16 of them. And all 16 of us thought she hung the moon. Perhaps it was the respect and love her own children modeled. Maybe it was her jovial and charismatic personality. But I tend to think it was something a little simpler: Time. Most parenting experts agree that children spell love T-I-M-E. The time and energy we put into all our relationships not only makes them stronger – it’s what we remember. It’s the time together that makes for some beautiful memories. That and little witch hazel. Charla Belinski’s column appears in the Post Independent every other Sunday. Contact her at

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