Shuffle, shuffle,shuffle, the light pink slippers slowly move across the linoleum floor creating a sweeping sound. Shuffle, shuffle, pause. “I’m short of breath,” she says. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, she pauses again to take another breath, then enters the room where she has two double beds. She asks me; “Do you need anything honey?”
“No, grandma,” I reply. “I’m ok.” “Are you sure? Wait…” she says with a whisper, “Here, take this, and don’t tell your grandmother!” She hands me a Milano cookie as I slip under the covers in the bed next to hers. “Oh, grandma!” I say giggling “thanks for the cookie.”
This is my memory of staying the night with my great grandma. She and my grandma(my great grandmas daughter) lived together after my great grandpa passed away. I had the privilege and gift to have known them both. I loved staying the night and always stayed in the bed next to her. She would always fill up a covered glass with ice water for me to keep by my bedside. She would always sneak a cookie into the room for me to eat and we would always listen to her favorite talk radio station while in bed. She would often secretly hand me a $10.00 or even $20.00 bill as if it were a crime before I left to go back home. We went out to dinners, with dessert afterward! I was spoiled! I loved it! I loved every moment of it. We watched cable t.v and stayed up late. My great grandma was the sweetest, kindest person I had ever met, like really and truly ever met, till this day! People could do no wrong in her eyes. She saw the good in everyone, even my bratty brother! She refused to believe he was a total pest so I just gave up trying to convince her. Being at my grandmas house was pure magic.
So, when I had my first child, I naturally remembered all of the spoiling my grandma provided me. Not! It was rough. I questioned everything my mother told me, I fought her every time she gave my son treats or toys. She was spoiling him and I felt he was getting too used to it. Conflict and uneasiness started to brew between my mom and I. Our once close relationship started to turn ugly. Then the sign went up in her house. What happens at Grandmas, Stays at Grandmas. Ok, whatever I thought. Then I started to remember all of the fun I had with my grandmas. They spoiled me rotten! My grandma spoiled me with dance lessons, going to posh tea houses, shopping for clothes I could never afford, and my great grandma spoiled me with well…everything a little kid could want. I didn’t feel like I was owed anything. I always felt grateful, undeserving. More than the spoiling, they created memories. Memories that will never leave me. The best memories a young person could have.
I needed to let go of the strife between my mother and myself. I finally did. I let go. My mom is always there for me. She takes care of my children when I need a break. She is there whenever I need her and she loves my children like they were her own. They love her back. They cant wait to go to her farm whenever we get the chance. The kids look for eggs in the chicken coop, they feed the cats, they play with the dogs, they pick oranges and do crafts, and they eat M&M’s for dinner. I don’t care. They are being loved and memories are being established. How awesome is that. This is what we need to remember.
A friend of mine has a mother in law, who picks the kids up from school on a daily basis, drives them to her house, feeds them dinner and then drives them home. She frequently keeps the kids overnight so that her daughter can have a break. What a fantastic mother in law and grandmother to these kids, right? Not according to her! My friend was in an uproar that the grandmother would feed the kids junk at her house. Really? Is that it? She would get upset that the grandmother would allow the kids to put their feet up on the sofa. She asked me if she should confront her mother in law about this. My response was if you want full on war and uncomfortable, awkwardness, go for it! I reminded her of all of the things her mother in law does for her and her children and that what happens at grandmas, stays at grandmas. Allow the kids to have some fun, create memories, and love being at grandmas. Was it worth the confrontation? Not in my book! I had been there, done that and am never going back!
My grandmas were incredible, influential people in my life. I am partly the person I am today because of them. I am not a horrible person because they gave me cookies in bed, slipped me $20.00 bills and took me to posh tea houses. I am a better person because of it.
Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle went the sound of my grandmas slippers as she walked across the floor, opening up the cupboard door to sneak me yet another cookie to eat while I was in bed. “Shhhhh! Don’t tell your grandmother!”
Why? Because my great grandma said so