I was setting on the sofa, all comfy and settled in viewing last weeks airing Continuum that I’d missed while on holiday when my daughter walked in — Pause — and interrupted ‘my moment’ with what was a series of complaints about her sister. Awe, siblings. The need to vent about things that matter only to you because it is your sister you are talking about.
Now, if it had been about a friend, she would have simply ignored or shrugged it off as a stupid idea to be sorted out down the line. In which case she would have listened (tongue in cheek) politely (biting tongue) to the outcome of that crazy/stupid idea and laughed along with them and said “I know! I know!” and then discussed how life ebbs and flows with good and bad ideas. But this was her sister she was complaining about!
I sat quietly listening. Patient. Pondering. Thinking it was like the pot calling the kettle black — which was an epiphany — and then I understood that what my daughter was worried most about was that her sister was two inches away from repeating the same misguided mistake she’d made many years ago. And that what she feared the most was an identical outcome. Judgment? No. Regret? Yes. But I wasn’t in the mood to have that conversation — again — so I left it with “we’ll wait and see” and promised a telephone call to the younger sister.
I didn’t need to make the call. The telephone rang and I picked it up. A short time later all was settled or as close to being settled as it could be.
I have this innateness about me — never one to fear calling a spade a spade and saying so to the person and sometimes at my peril (not laughing) when doing so doesn’t turn out well. But, here’s the thought: be honest and up front with family and above all else be clear! Don’t leave unsaid what needs to be said. Be concerned about feelings and be loving in delivery but say the words that need to be spoken. And, for Pete’s Sake, don’t be self-righteous! (remember that when you point your finger look to see how many fingers are pointed right back at you)
On another day the skies bluer, I’m sure of it.
“Abby, who took the potato chip bag?”
“I Don’t Know”
Destiny, who took the potato chip bag?”
“Nobody, Grandma!” (suspicious statement)
“Hannah, did you take the potato chip bag?”
“No, I didn’t do it, Somebody did” (skipping away, singing Jingle Bells)
So, there’s my answer ::: First I Don’t Know took the chips; then for some reason Nobody got a hold of them; and finally for some unknown reason Somebody took them far far away ::: mystery remains unsolved.
Okay….I agree, this is not funny and no one would actually do this. Right?
The other things no one would ever do on a sunny day are:
- tie the new puppy to a park bench and quickly skedaddle away — note pinned, “free to good home”!
- fill a box full of toads, wrap it up with pretty pink ribbon, then present it to your mother.
- put two helpless goldfish into the Culligan water cooler.
- plant Cannabis in the middle of the vegetable garden!
- use shingles as a Frisbee — sailing them from a roof top into the street below.
- have a peeing contest — outside of course — to see who can hit ‘the spot’ in the neighbor’s yard.
No one would do these things, right? No one, that is, except my twins, who on any given sunny day were full of surprises. The twins, whom I let live, turned 30 this past year.
Let me just say for clarity that when these things happened I was at work, earning the money for the clothes on their backs and the food on their tables. They should have been more thankful but kids will be kids, or is it boys will be boys . . . whatever, Martha! They were a mess growing up but they were also so lovely and dear sweet little ones too. I often wondered if I did the best job I could do with them. Then today came a note, a thank you note, from one of my twins for a present I gave him not too long ago.
“Mom, thank you so much for my socks and the thermos,
the thermos keeps my coffee hot until the end of the day,
but your love fills my soul a whole lot more than any gift!
Your love will always be in my heart Mom!!! Love you, Kevin”
And my heart melted — I may not have always done things perfectly — I may have spent too much time on case files and pleadings at a time when they needed my undivided attention — I may have spent too much time with my writing, as well — but in-spite of any motherly imperfections, my kid loves me!
Kids are amazing! Creative little creatures who have terrific imaginations. They give new meaning to the term: thinking outside the box. And this is never so apparent than when it comes to picking out their Halloween costumes. When my youngest was five she asked to be a balloon. Thankfully she had a willing Mum who attached (with scotch tape) blown-up water balloons to her pink leotard dance class outfit. She was the cutest little thing!
So…tell me: what are your kids asking to be this Halloween? Really, I’d love to hear your stories.
I advocate Action Against Abuse and pray a silent prayer you do as well . . .
Around 1946 my Mum Marie stood tall against abuse — long story short, because she stood tall that year three years later she became my Mum when she married my Daddy bringing with her two new brothers — the elder of my new brothers had (in the beginning of his relationships) a struggle with being abusive (what he saw is what he repeated) but the younger (by six years), who was influenced more from his mother’s new marriage to my Dad, never suffered the same condition. Why is this true? I think because he repeated what he witnessed and what he witnessed was a loving and happy couple.
Why am I telling you this? Because I need to say it. And, because I want you to hear it.
I also remember doing things, just like my Mum, standing with my hand on my hip, just so, just like she did. This made my father laugh more than once when I was a kid. Kids mimic and are like a sponge soaking up everything parents do and the proof is in the words we, as adults, speak to our own children and sometimes, stop in our tracks and say, “Where did that come from” or “I sounded just like my Mom or Dad!” Yep, there you have it …. so speak love, compassion, empathy, kindness and charity and teach those principles.
I beseech you to take-care with the little ones. They are so precious.
One of my favorite television shows during the 1950s was a show called Father Knows Best. During the years (1945-1962) of my childhood, my family were big evening television users; shows like Father Knows Best, and other good clean family oriented series were enjoyed and rarely missed. I’ve always thought of Father Knows Best as with-out-a-doubt an American classics from that time period. It first appeared on radio (1949-1954) and then on television (1954-1960). It was a wonderful comedy series which portrayed a middle class family living in the Midwest during the 1940’s. The Anderson family were easily identifiable to my values oriented Daddy & Mum. I’ve never been sure if this show was not more a teaching tool used by them, but that is for another post.
The television series was created by writer Ed James [Note: If possible I always give credit to the writer] and honestly, viewing some of the old episodes I think he was a master at the art.
About a month ago three of my grandchildren, all girls (age 2, 3 & 4) came to stay for a few days. Because of all their antics, which kept us adults chuckling most of the time, they as well as their parents reminded me of the 1950’s sitcoms. As a grandmother this happened to make me feel rather good. It made me feel hopeful that my granddaughters’ adult lives would be a happy ones.
After they had left for their respective homes in North Carolina I happen to run across an article about early television shows. Unfortunately, I ran across it in the waiting room of the Oncology Center at Good Samaritan as I waited for my mother to reemerge from her radiation treatment. I’d love to have that article to reference but I do not. Anyway, to make a long story short: I had a flash-back to my granddaughters visit, the little quibbles which were solved by loving parents, the joy and all the fun they had.
Now, I am mentally exploring the possibility that my children are a throw back to 1950s America! Not a bad thing to happen, actually. Let’s face facts here: I am influenced by my growing up years, by the television shows of that time, by how my parents handled themselves and me; ergo, how I was a parent to my children, and how I continue to influence my grandchildren, as a grandmother.
My last thought to this post is: Always Remember Grandma Knows Best . . . this is according my granddaughter Destiny! She is a very intelligent youngster.
NO! Not hugging a flower; but hugging this little Sweet-Pea shown running through an open green field in Ohio. I love this picture, how could I not?
I love spending time with my grandchildren. Of course, each and every one of my nine grandchildren have different personalities which means I have a slightly different relationship with each one. For instance, this little joy is Joseph, a shy red-headed boy who does not like the ‘hugging thing’ one bit. His cousins near his age are all big huggers as am I. Joseph please learn to like hugging!
Are you one to hug? If you are not how does it make you feel when someone (like a grandmother) hugs you? I’m interested to know!