By Bubbles Salvador


My son has quite an unusual play group. When I’m working, his 65-year-old Lola looks after him. Sometimes, Luis spends an hour or two next door with his 19-year-old cousin. He also likes playing photographer to his 91-year-old great-grandmother, whom he calls Sweetheart.

How these lolas manage to care for such an active toddler during the day is beyond me. But Luis is such an Energizer bunny – I bet he gives his lolas all  the energy they need.

Anyone who’s ever known a grandmother will agree with me: It is a blessing to be around them. Apart from Sweetheart, Luis has both lolas from my husband’s side and mine. He also has a very doting Lolo who often comes to see him in the morning – but I’ll save that for a different day.

I remember my own lolas – Viola and Nene, who both lived past 90. From Viola, who was an Olympic athlete and a school principal, I learned that women can succeed both at work and at home. Nene, on the other hand, was a farmer’s wife whose life taught me the value of hard work.

Luis may not realize it now but his grandmothers are teaching him life lessons even without them knowing it. Respect and compassion – these are values that we can teach only by doing. No school can teach that as effectively as when kids learn it at home.

So while my son may just be having fun play dates with his grandmothers, he is also learning that Sweetheart needs help when going down the stairs, that my mom’s wheel chair needs to be pushed by someone else, and that his Lola could use some help putting away his toys after playing.

The part where he makes his lolas super happy by showing off his crazy antics? It’s just a happy bonus.