Raising a smile

‘Rapunzel’ and ‘Aurora’, dressed in their pink satin gowns and flanked by the painted rainbows they had stuck to the window, bounced excitedly on the back of the sofa, smiling, waving and shouting, “Grandma!”… I could hear them from the car as I pulled up outside, grateful to have at least this much contact with them. While ‘Rapunzel’ seemed to understand that, for once, my arrival would not mean silly games and mischief, ‘Aurora’… two-year-old Imogen… just wanted the window between us opening so I could unwrap the chocolate bar she was brandishing… but she was happy to wait for her Daddy to do that while she and her big sister told me about the ladybird they had found in the garden and ask when I’d be allowed to come and play.

‘Rapunzel’… five-year-old Hollie … wanted to know where my Ani was. The friendship between the little girl and the over-excitable floppy dog is a fairly recent development. For a long time, the dog wanted to be friends, but the little girl, who also wanted to be friends, was understandably wary. A few tentative overtures were made that saw her fleeing to her father’s arms, but it took a while for the trust to build. Now, though, they have become inseparable and they are a delight to watch together.

The elderly dog becomes a grinning puppy again while her two-legged friend takes charge, issuing commands, throwing a well-chewed ball and sneaking more treats to the happy dog than she should have in a week. Now that the trust is there, they seem to be perfectly matched, with each giving and sharing a joyful understanding. They are, quite visibly, on the same wavelength. Dogs and children understand each other… and Hollie seems to be missing her new friend.

I stood in the middle of my son’s front lawn, sharing a loud conversation with my granddaughters through the closed window, glad that I was able to see them at all when so many families are now separated by more than just distance. Like everyone else since this crisis began, we have stayed away from each other. I only saw them today because their Dad needed me to pick up some things from the shop on my way home from work.

“I never thought I’d be grounded at my age! It feels like being in prison” said their father as I made my socially distanced delivery. My younger son has been working all hours shipping sanitising products but is now in quarantine with suspicious symptoms. We are hoping it is no more than a seasonal bug as he doesn’t feel particularly unwell, as his partner has it too and there is no way to keep parents and young children apart in a small house.

A couple of doors down from my home, another set of grandchildren have found a novel way of making their grandparents smile. Their message has survived both frost and rain and it warms my heart every morning when I see it… and it must do so much more for the couple for whom it was intended. “We love you and miss you both” is chalked, in a child’s handwriting, on the pavement right outside the door.

Then I came home to find one of my next-door neighbours putting up a new fence. I had done one side of my garden when the gales blew it down… so now, both sides are neat and new. Unfortunately, the guy who was supposed to be taking away the remains my old fence never did so. My neighbour had quietly loaded my old fencing onto his truck with theirs, disposed of the lumps of concrete from the rotten posts… and while he was doing so, fixed the dodgy lock he had noticed on my back gate too.

Little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way to lifting the spirits and relieving a sense of isolation… and sometimes, it really doesn’t take a great deal to raise a smile.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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63 Responses to Raising a smile

  1. barbtaub says:

    What a heartwarming post! I’m jealous that you got to see your lovely grandchildren. I miss mine but I’m forever grateful for our video chats. Best wishes to your son and his partner for safe and quick recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    Aw, Sue! What a lovely post!
    I know my in laws are missing their daily contact with the kids, and though my two, at their age, get frustrated with going there daily, now, they are really missing them. We video call both sets every evening and yesterday, I had to pick up a parcel, which had got delivered there in error. Lil Man came with me to literally sit in the car so he could see them for real. My brother in law was hung out of the window, mum and dad in law both standing at the four, waving magically. It was lovely, but heartbreaking at the same time.
    The whole knock at the door, but step back.
    No hugs. No touching. Just a smile and loudly spoken words over a distance…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Darlene says:

    How wonderful you got to see the granddaughters even if through a window. They are adorable. Hopefully, they can come and play with Ani soon. Dot is cautious around small children. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Yes, it was lovely to see them, even so briefly and through glass 🙂 Ani has always liked children, but she is rather big and bouncy, so it can take a while for children to get the hang of her. But she and Hollie are now best friends. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TanGental says:

    Sometimes it’s the unexpected kindnesses that resonate most.


  5. jenanita01 says:

    We only see our family on the computer screen, so not quite as lovely as seeing them all in person. Hope your family will be all right, Sue and your neighbour is a gem!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post (aside from your son feeling unwell. I do hope that it will soon pass). Also hope Hollie is soon united with her best furry friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sadje says:

    This is indeed a cheerful and uplifting post.


  8. joylennick says:

    What a heart-warming post, Sue. Lovely to have two grand-daughters. I do hope your son and partner get well soonest, and you can all hug each other again. Love to Ani! Take care. Virtual hug. x


  9. What a lovely post, Sue! Seems your grandchildren got another grandma, too. “Granny Ani – The famous one, from Yorkshire”. Lol


  10. Widdershins says:

    Our front lawn is a soggy mess this time of year, especially this year with so much continuous rain, and with a new neighbour moving in across the rather narrow street, parts of our driveway got chewed up. Another neighbour had a load of gravel delivered, just before the shutdown, and the other day I noticed he’d kindly spread some of it on our driveway.
    Good people doing good things are everywhere. 🙂


  11. dgkaye says:

    Oh, I’m sure those 2 little beauties lifted your spirits. I hope your son will be alright and I hope you are keeping safe and wearing a mask on your outings. ❤


  12. Beautiful, Sue… ❤


  13. Eliza Waters says:

    I imagine it is pretty hard to help wee ones understand the restrictions placed upon us. It doesn’t ‘feel’ good, but it is supposed to ‘do’ us good. Hope they are back in your arms soon!


  14. This is a lovely post.

    I hope your son and his partner are doing better by now, or if not that they will soon be recovered… Hopefully without the girls getting sick in the meantime.


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