Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Ashbury

This coming Monday, our great-granddaughter turns 3 years old. We’ll be having a party, of course on Sunday—this time at her maternal grandmother’s home which is, oddly, just a few doors down from our house.

Abby is a singularly formidable little girl. She knows what she knows and she wants what she wants, and that is it. I’m delighted to have a front row seat to the show, to be perfectly honest. I’m very grateful that I don’t ever have to be the person responsible for her, and therefore on the front line, dealing with her on a daily basis. She really is quite a handful.

I predict, that if she can turn that charm and determination and force of personality in the right direction when she gets older, then she will go very far in life.

Just as grandchildren were different from children, so, too, great-grandchildren are different yet again. There’s another layer of separation, which is a good thing. Most great-grandparents are much older than we are. By the time our grandbabies have babies, we’ve usually earned the right to just sit and smile. For the most part, that is what we do. We see her and her brother on a fairly regular basis.  When they come for supper, we spend time with them, of course—and then they go home, and our house returns to it’s quiet, natural state.

A week ago, we’d just returned from Pennsylvania. It’s not a long drive down to visit our friends—about six hours. Our daughter accompanied us as she has the last few times, and we took the dog, as well. Our daughter joins us each year for two reasons.  The first is so she can have a few days when she doesn’t have to be responsible for anyone. Her job is a very busy and taxing one, and her son and his family live with her, so times of peace and quiet are few for her. She brings her e-reader, and spends at least a couple of days in her jammies—except when she changes to go to the pool.

Her other reason for accompanying us is to go shopping. It isn’t a question of cheaper prices, either. It's because the selection of products available is so much different down there than it is up here. When she isn’t buying things for her dogs, she is shopping for her grandbabies.

Some of what she bought on this trip was for their birthdays. Abby’s celebration is first, and her brother, Archer, has his next month, in September when he’ll turn 2. The day before we headed home, our daughter carefully packed two little gift bags, to be given to the kids on her return. The rest of what she purchased for them was craftily hidden in her luggage, awaiting their birthday parties.

Of the things my daughter bought her granddaughter to receive as soon as she got home was a pretty summer dress, and “princess shoes”. Abby is a girly girl, a complete opposite of her nanny, who was a tomboy. She loves dressing up, and she absolutely loves anything that is sparkly or shiny. Those shoes were both. Of course, she had to have them on as soon as she saw them.

My daughter was pleased with herself, and I’m certain we can all relate. There’s something very satisfying when you give your grandchildren gifts they love. Well, Miss Abby loved her dress, she loved the toys, but she really, really loved those princess shoes.

She loved them so much she refused to take them off for bed.

I don’t know how they handled the situation, exactly. I do know that it involved a fight. Abby can be quite insistent in getting her way, and she can also, I have seen, eye a person with what I swear is cunning calculation. Yes, she will go far when she is older.

Another thing about being a great granny is that family tends not to ask me for advice. That’s fine. I do believe in letting parents and yes, even grandparents, figure things out on their own. But I’ve begun to slide into what I consider the golden reward for having endured so many years and generations of my own family. I’ve begun simply giving my advice, without a care as to whether it’s wanted or taken or not. 

Of course, I had two suggestions on the subject. The first was that they could have convinced her that her shoes could sleep beside her in her bed—because after all, since they spent so much time with her, they had to be tired, too.

Or her parents could have simply let the little girl fall asleep in her shoes. They would be easy enough to remove when she’s snoring.

Love,
Morgan


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