“Grandma, why do you always talk to yourself in the kitchen?”
“I’m planning out solutions to my problems; I’m thinking about our future.”
“Grandma, when I get older, I want you to teach me how to think like you. I want you to teach me how to think of those plans that make things come out looking right.”
Sophia was raised by two forces, she says: a strong will and heavy consequences. Fathered by a man who disowned her and her other illegitimate siblings, she was expected to cook for the family at age seven. By the time she married the first time, she was the owner of three rental properties and had taught herself English to make herself a more marketable housekeeper.
Sophia always plans. She plans meals with expert economy. She only executes house repairs after comparing prices. She is a businesswoman, a coveted employee, and the matriarch of her extended family. Sophia never finished 8th grade.
Sophia is teaching her two grandsons critical thinking skills. She is gifting them the understanding of delay of gratification and modeling a positive work ethic. She teaches them to keep count of every peso, to be frugal in order to be generous, and to solve problems prudently without letting emotions be dictator to their lives.
My prayer this month is for children in the Dominican Republic to have such a grandmother (read: father, brother, aunt)–a person of character who makes the difference between a child living in endless survival mode to a child who plans, opines, dreams, problem-solves and reaps the corresponding fruits.
“Grandma, teach me to have those talks you have with yourself that make things turn out strong and straight.”