dailyadvocate.com

A Grandparent’s Voice

By Pam Drake

March 4, 2014

The chef has pots and pans. A gardener has a hoe, a spade, a pair of gardening gloves. The contractor has blue prints. The designer has pieces of fabric, pins and a sewing machine. On and on it goes with each profession having tools of the trade.


A woman dashed into the Hallmark store in a panic. “Do you have party items for the movie “Frozen”, she asked .”I can’t find party supplies!” Well, no you can’t find them because party supply stores are becoming a thing of the past. Hallmark doesn’t carry them anymore. I refer more and more people to the pharmacies and dollar stores. However, finding a specific theme is next to impossible unless you go online. So I did what I do quite often.


“You know, you could make your own decorations and even have the children help.” I went on to tell her about sugar cube projects, using styrofoam and flour or sugar to make snow, marshmallow snowmen and theme decorations purchased in the Christmas sale items. She left the store quite excited. My job was done. I was using the tools of my trade.


We seem to forget that we can be creative. Even if we don’t have a knack for it, ideas can flow if we let them. The creative ideas are perhaps a bit more work but a whole lot more fun. As parents we sometimes are so busy that we forget that we have tools that we can use to help our children develop their own.


I have tools of my trade being the grandma that I am. They come from years of watching and interacting with children. I didn’t have time to pull out the old toolbox when I was a young mother. Life was flying by, and I didn’t have time to step back and look at what I could present to my own. As a grandma, I am an observer who wants to challenge my grandchildren to expand their creativity and to use their imaginations. There isn’t room for failure, because all efforts are just perfect. So….what tools are in my toolbox. I have instruments that have come my way over time: a melodica, a ukulele, a guitar, a set of bongos (my fav), a xylophone, tenor and soprano recorders, a drumstick that works well on all surfaces and a strange little instrument that make a squeaky scale.


In large basket, I have art supplies. It is full of paints, canvases, crayons, colored pencils, chalks…you name, I have it. Another bin has stickers, beads, cords and, of course, blank paper on which to create. The toy box has a variety of toys ready for imagination. The bookshelf waits for little hands to find a treasure. Children’s books that are full of beautiful art are my favorite. Give the child a camera and see the world in a new way. The best tool of all is my imagination. The kids and I can find adventure everywhere we look. Those are the tools of my trade.


There is no age limit on using those tools. We always have something to share with those around us. We always have ways to inspire and create a learning world. We have the years behind us that allow us to open creative doors for those children given to our lives. We are the toolbox full of ideas and the love of sharing.


You and I are tools of the trade.


Pam Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at pamldrake@gmail.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.