sprinkling stardust

Today lunch with my grand girl, Hazel Faye. A last minute invite but a special invite all the same because it is Hazel inviting me to lunch at school.

I can eat chicken nuggets or fingers or bites…better yet, school cafeteria style pizza. I can do this because I can literally do all things if one or both my grand babies are part of the all things.

Except…

Apparently you can bring lunch for the both of you to share, or there is “stupid hot lunch” (her words) or her mom making lunch.

Clearly stupid hot lunch or brown bagged lunch prepared with her Mommy’s own two hands is not good enough, not nearly good enough for Mima.

Heh.

My grand girl is no dummy. She might get some of that from me. She very likely gets a lot of that from her Mommy.

Me, I’m easily influenced by a lovely, blond, gap-toothed, tall 3rd grader.

Lunchables, juice boxes, sliced apples with caramel and yogurt dip all packed into my green bag. The rest of the grandparents brought Happy Meals, KFC and Dominos Pizza.

Whatever!

I’m THAT grandparent.

Hazel did not seem to mind. In fact she gladly invited her classmates whose grandparents were unable to attend to join us. She gets her tender heart from me…and her Mommy, and her Dad, and her aunties and uncle and her Papa, and her other grandparents.

And after lunch…

Obvious and logical choice. Strong work PTA!

But the reward is priceless.

Priceless.

Moments like these I want us both to remember forever.

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.

~ Alex Haley

the sweet and the bitter

My social media timeline today reminds me that it is a big day in the life of many people I know because,

yes, Back to School season continues. This time today with these two.

You heard me!

These TWO!

BOTH of these girls.

BOTH OF THEM!

I look at this 8 year old before she enters into her third grade classroom thinking how can she possibly look so much more mature than an 8 year old…I mean I certainly did not look this confident and self assured and all I choose to remember of my own 3rd graders was how they were all elbows and knees with a smudge of dirt or breakfast on their chin that somehow missed my inspection on the first day of school. How could Hollie and Ben possibly allow this little girl to grow up so fast?

And then,

You guys!

The only positive thing I can say might be hurray for a November birthday and the state law of 5 years old by September 1st because, you guys!!!

Time is passing faster and faster y’all. I can’t make it stop. I’m just going to hold on as tight as I can while I can.

Happy school year my darling grand girls! Mima loves you with all her hearts!

The most beautiful moments always seemed to accelerate and slip beyond one’s grasp just when you want to hold onto them for as long as possible.

E. A. Bucchianeri

everything I might have ever learned about parenting I learned while potty training

Is that even possible? There is, after all, so much more to raising these humans we call our children so that they will be successful adults…with jobs…responsibilities…the ability to hang their own pictures in their own first apartment. Of course there is so much more that we learn as we grow and these babies of our grow but a social media conversation today struck me that there is much to learn while potty training each of our children…and observing others…observing, comparing, contrasting and maybe judging as we do because, for some, parenting is a competitive sport…maybe an Olympic event worthy competitive sport.

No not really.

Still we often do compare and contrast…and pat ourselves on the back because we are doing a great job…or wallow in self-doubt and lots of mommy-guilt.

One thing I might have learned or appreciated potty training five unique individuals is that they were uniquely five very different individuals…and I was no more an expert in how to potty train a human after the first, second, third, fourth or fifth. I did learn was to appreciate the big picture in that when physically ready, the kids are capably continent and there is much, much, much more that is a better measure of their success years and years later…like when they are parents themselves.

And then I come back to the conversation today. Watching our own children as parents we must recognize and acknowledge our successes (and definitely major fails) as parents. Watching them, as we do in every major event and milestone of their lives, we must trust that we did good…and that they are doing even better because of,  or perhaps in spite of us. Our children will not be the mothers and fathers that we are; and for some of us that is a very good thing. They are not us  even if they came out from our own bodies. They are uniquely their own selves just as their own children, our grandchildren are too.

For me, for my daughter, I recognize that we are so different as mothers…even if I joke that she is raising herself times two because my curses are that good. Lucky for her daughters too. Literally one of the joys of being a grandparent, a Mima, is witnessing and celebrating what a great job my child is doing as a mommy…because of me, or more likely, in spite of me. She might do things differently than I did or would as a mother but she is her own mother making this motherhood gig her own bitch. I could critique, whether privately or for all on Facebook-land to see under the guise of well-meaning advice…or I could just enjoy the adventure…her adventure…her adventure as my grand babies’ Mommy.

And of course I continue to enjoy the sweetness that is my grand babies, her children.

And, in my daughter’s own words, I get to enjoy the truth that she is (today) winning at the mom-game, because she is.

Dear friend, when it comes to crowdsourcing for parenting wisdom and critique to pass on to our grand babies’ parents…don’t, just don’t. They’ll potty train your grand baby when your grand baby is truly ready. Just enjoy your grand baby buying all the big kid underpants and practicing going potty with them when they are at your house because what happens at Mima’s house stays at Mima’s house. And when your adult child picks up THEIR child from your house, tell them how glad that you are that they are your grand baby’s parent.

Yeah, I learned so much of this and more in the adventure that is potty training my five children with all the well-meaning wisdom, observations and advice.

 

seeing eye to eye again

Nothing is more maddening to a seasoned mamarazzi like myself when people related to me won’t cooperate when I am trying to take their portrait. Under this Big Top, if mama pulls out the camera, there will be picture taking. This mamarazzi doesn’t ask for eye contact very often because there is so much more magic in the candid…at least in my humble opinion. But when I call out to look this way…my clowns look this way.

Except for Fallon over the last year or two. Fallon is Fallon and if Fallon isn’t feeling having her picture taken, Fallon is not going to. Period. The game of capturing Fallon in a photo has been my PokemonGo. Capturing her making eye contact with the lens has proven to be about as easy as finding Squirtle.

Note, I have not found Squirtle, yet. But I will find and catch that little Pokemon. Mark my words! After all, I managed to catch Fallon.

Truth be told, Fallon actually POSED for this shot and was quite pleased with it too. When I comment that she looked at the camera, she rolls her eyes just a little because she is a big girl. She is a big girl who is FOUR AND A HALF who has cultivated the most amazing garden, paints and draws the most amazing art ALL OF THE TIME, on a daily basis states matter of factly wisest of truths, decided in her infinite wisdom that her mother’s father should from now on be called Papa Papa, and who initiates the most epic FAMILY GROUP HUGS always at the right moment. Of course she looked directly into the lens, Mima! And now, literally every chance I get, I am going to capture this incredible, bright, beautiful child who is just one of my amazing grandchildren because dammit, she, just like her sister is growing up much too fast for me. With my camera I shall slow her down as best as I can.

So yeah, Squirtle, I am coming for you!

grandgirl treats

When your 4 year old grand daughter invites you to sit down you do. You talk about art and unicorns and the fact that she is soon going to school and also that her headband game is super strong today.

Fierce even.

She looks up to agree with you, as 4 year old grand daughters do, and notices your hands…your nails.

Mima, I need to paint your nails.

So you agree.

It’s absolutely true that I could not possibly do a better job than Fallon.

Have I shared with y’all lately how magical grand daughters are?

I’m still not sure how I feel about the fact that they are growing up much too fast.