The brightest child ever

Today I am missing my little granddaughter, so I am doing what cold, lonely, forsaken (just kidding except for the cold part) grandmothers do who live 848 miles away when they can’t squeeze their little angels.  I am pining over old photographs and videos.  They aren’t really “old” considering my one and only grandchild isn’t even four yet, but you get the point.

As much as I loathe technology at times (very few times), now isn’t one of them.  For those of us who don’t live close to our kids, aren’t we blessed to have Skype, Facebook and other social media to share the milestones? When my son in law was in Afghanistan, he was able to “watch” Christmas and other events to an extent.  I’m honestly not sure if that made him feel better or worse, but at least he could see his wife and daughter in real time.

Just today I was considering how different things were when mine were small.  Of course, we had telephone and videos if you had a big, clunky video camera and a way to play the tapes (I’m not that ancient), but things weren’t nearly as “instant”.  I remember my aunt and uncle living a few hundred miles away and they would have my young cousin talk or sing into a cassette tape recorder and send to my grandparents.  We would all gather round’ to hear his sweet little voice and then deem him the brightest child ever!

The video I’ve shared above also stars the “brightest child ever”, my darling, my angel, my Ayda.  I hope you enjoy as she tries to figure out if she likes the fur on the stuffed animals.  We laughed over how they made her “shiver”.

This one shows her silly faces as she sings along to the “goodbye song” from Yo Gabba Gabba, which I hope I never have to watch again for as long as I live, but I would for her 🙂

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/zero-to-hero/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

 

SONY DSC

 

The photo challenge this week was to capture “joy”.  There are many photos I could use, but the look in my granddaughter’s eyes said it all.  She loves cake!

Peeling trees

Bananas on a banana tree. Personnal photo, fre...

Bananas on a banana tree. Personnal photo, free licence (see below). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My younger brother and sister bounded into the yellow house, excitement on their faces, along with dirt from their long day at play.   My sister, with the bulk of her auburn curls trapped in pigtails fastened with yarn and sporting a splash of cinnamon freckles across her nose, was the first to speak.  “Oh, Granny, guess what we did for Poppy?  He is going to be so happy!”  My brother was standing right beside my sister, which is where you often found him.  He was smiling too, a smile full of a sense of pride and accomplishment for his part in this good deed.  They both had some kind of juice and goo that smelled like banana all over them, enough where if we had been at home, mom would have escorted them quickly to the bathtub.  Not Granny though; that kind of thing didn’t faze her.

Granny smiled that kind of smile that grandmothers smile and animatedly asked, “Well sugar, what did you do?”  She had that way of speaking to you that always made you feel good; never a glimmer of frustration or impatience to be heard.  Her voice and tone felt like a warm hug.

“We peeled Poppy’s banana trees!  Granny we stripped every piece of the brown off and made them all nice and pretty!”

Now, before I go any farther, let me say that Poppy loved to garden and he loved his banana trees.  Looking back, I think working in the soil was relaxing for him after his long day as a fishing guide.  He liked to see the fruits of his labor and share them and he was very particular in the way the way he attended his plants.

The look on Granny’s face after their announcement went from perfectly peaceful to a bit concerned. I, being a little older and wiser knew the look and the once uneventful day looked suddenly as if it promised some excitement. She took their dirty little, banana gooey hands as they led her outside to survey the beauty of the project. I trailed along behind them anxious to inspect the ruins, and sadly, but honestly probably enjoying the possibility of the impending drama a little too much.

The trees were peeled alright, there was barely anything left.  Now, granted you are supposed to peel off the dead yellow leaves, which in their defense, they had probably watched Poppy do.

Granny elected not to share with them at that time, the trouble they were in.  Knowing her, I bet she wanted them to enjoy their excitement for as long as possible, while she prayed and figured out how to calm the storm she knew to be looming on the horizon.

I knew two things; one being that Pop was not going to be happy and two being that granny didn’t let anyone and I mean anyone mess with her grandbabies.  So, now to sit back and watch and wait for the Dixie to dock, and Pop to head home, all of which we could see from Granny’s front yard.

Pop got home and I waited.  They hurried up to him excitedly begging him to “Come look what we did for you!”  Poppy would make this snorting sound when he didn’t really want to participate in something, but when it came to his grandkids, he would usually relent anyway and this time wasn’t any different.

But when he saw his precious trees, he quickly lost his temper.  This was before Poppy had a sanctified vocabulary, so we heard some choice words.  He then described what was going to happen to their little derrieres.  Their joyful little faces quickly turned into blubbering, dirty little, banana goo messes and we all ran as fast as our little feet would carry us into the house and they jumped straight into Granny’s lap.  By this time, I was no longer looking forward to any action; I had softened and started to feel sorry for them, as I watched tears dampen their dirty little cheeks.

As Poppy angrily lamented what he thought would be the end of his poor trees and advised Granny as to whose hides were getting tanned, Granny got that wet mother hen look in her eye.  She made it a point to call them “the babies” and reminded him they were only trying to help.   She said very matter-of-factly that no one would be getting spankings on her watch.  Poppy snorted and shuffled back outside and that was the end of that.  I could have sworn I heard Granny giggle.

Before the end of the night, Granny had calmed Poppy and they were both chuckling about the peeled trees.  To this day, we still mention it with a smile; one of those things that for a few moments completely stole our peace and filled us with fear turned into one of those funny moments our family has laughed about for years.

Captivated

Nana and Ayda playing patty cake

Nana and Ayda playing patty cake

“I luff you Nana”, she said.  Now, I’m not entirely sure if she meant those words this particular time from the bottom of her nearly three year old heart, or if it was the overwhelming gratitude she felt at my latest promise.  I had just said, “Nana will send you the Peter Pan movie”.

For anyone who has the immense, incomparable pleasure of being a grandparent, it really doesn’t matter why they said it.  It melts your heart, liquefies it right into a puddle of love.  Those four little words make you feel like the most important person on earth.  They are coveted words and not always shared so freely by our independent little cherubs.

Before we were blessed with Ayda, I remember other grandparents and their endless pictures and chatter about their precious little ones, the most brilliant little people ever conceived.  I thought I understood.  I didn’t.  Not even close.

I was there when she was born.  After my nervousness for the safety and health of my eldest throughout the process, I was blissful to see the little dark haired head make its entry on the scene.  The thrill of her first cries upon encountering this big, bright world overwhelmed me.

I remember my first trip back out to California after they had been to visit for an extended period.  Her daddy had been in Afghanistan serving his country, so they stayed with us during his tour of duty.  She wasn’t very old and it had been a few months since I’d seen her.

My daughter picked me up from the LA airport, in the early evening and we enjoyed catching up on the drive back to Temecula.  Ayda was playing at a friend’s house and we stopped by there to pick her up.  She sat in her car seat and jabbered all the way home.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her but I wasn’t sure she would welcome being held.

I will never forget getting out of the car at their apartment and her little arms reaching out for me, just like those months between visits had never passed.  And oh, the feeling when those chubby little arms hugged me ever so tightly.  I still get tears in my eyes thinking about it.  She remembered!

Am I smitten?  Totally!  In love with her?  Absolutely!  And don’t even begin to think you can understand, unless you’re one of the proud, the elite, the grandparents!!

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