"I believe the children are our future. . ."
And in more ways than I had imagined.
Many would have seen the wonderful ABC series "An Old People's Home For Four Year Olds".
The mutual benefit applies equally for disabled as well as old people. I discovered this myself with the arrival of grandson, Landon, 14 months ago.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990.
My grandson Landon was born in August last year. At first I was fearful of not being able to hold him securely and we had little direct contact.
But then he began sitting with me in bed and we watched TV together or I sang him songs or recited poems.
I thought I had forgotten these, but I was inspired to relearn them and my memory began to improve.
I began to sing songs that I used to do in the bush band and poems from my pub - performing days.
My own boys used to enjoy my renditions of "All for Me Grog" when they were toddlers (and neither of them grew up to be alcoholics)!
Just to see Landon' s beaming face when he visits is enough to cheer me up for the whole day.
He also began enjoying trips with me around the house in my wheelchair.
He worked out that before he could travel I needed a cushion on my lap.
So by the time he was one year old, he would go and grab it first and bring it over to me.
Now we go riding all around the garden and near and far - and he is one young person who will grow up never seeing a person in a wheelchair as anything unusual (although I hope when he is 21 he doesn't try to jump in their lap).
"Just to see Landon' s beaming face when he visits is enough to cheer me up for the whole day."
Sadly as my MS progressed, I had to give up my musical instruments one by one.
But in a Christmas bonbon last year I received a tiny harmonica which I could play between finger and thumb. Landon has been entranced by this.
I have bought him his own harmonica for Christmas which I will have to teach him to play!
Of course, Landon can't take all the credit for my recent improvement. Not least to be included is the fantastic personal care I've received from Kim and her Compassionate Care team.
I also have a wonderful NDIS coordinator in Genevieve from IWI Australia.
But the real point of this story is the way Landon has taught me that there is a great deal we can gain by interacting with the younger generation.
And it works both ways!