Reach out and touch someone

By Joanne Peterson | Mar 15, 2012

My son’s voice on the phone always brings me joy. No matter what’s going on, to hear from him brightens the day.

Last week when he called from Idaho, I had just received a packet in the mail from his daughter Annika, my beloved eldest grandchild. And then the phone call!

So that day, suddenly, life was good!  It was pouring rain? I had a toothache?  I had lost my phone and had to get a new one? No problem.

I had pages of my sweet granddaughter’s schoolwork to peruse later, and now my boy was on the phone.

With one thing and another, I haven’t been to Idaho since last summer. And here it is nearly spring.

If you’re a grandparent, you realize what a long time that is. I miss that little family in Idaho.

As the months ticked by, I was aware that my eight-year-old grandchild, in third grade this year, was growing and changing, without this particular grandma nearby.

Because I haven’t had a chance to hang out with Annika, to read and cuddle and play games with her, to sit with her while she does her homework, it’s difficult to tell from such a distance all the ways she has changed this year.

The phone call turned out to be a double treat.

Son Brad turned the phone over to Annika, and we had a lovely chat.

You know how sometimes the moment with a child is just right? The phone conversation Annika and I had was perfect.

It was a warm little conversation about daily “stuff” she and I thought to share with one another.

Annika and I talked about books and horses and cursive writing and her friend Olivia and libraries and the deaths of her dog Henry and my cat Benjamin.

Then I said, “Do you know what we’d do right now if you were here?”

“What?” she asked.

“We’d go out for ice cream right now--and then we’d decide what to have for dinner,” I told her.

“Really? Ice cream first?” I could hear the smile in her voice. I smiled, too.” Yes. Absolutely!”

All parents and grandparents have moments with children during which they are suddenly so swept by love that it’s difficult to speak.

That’s what happened to me while I talked on the phone with Annika last week.

I suddenly remembered precious words someone else’s grandchild once used, and borrowing those words, I said, “Annika, right this minute, I love you so much I could just fall over!”

“I know. Me, too.” she answered. Well. The rain and my toothache and the lost phone and any other concerns simply evaporated. What could be wrong with my world?

First I visited with my son, and then my granddaughter’s voice reached across the miles and melted my heart.

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