Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Beautiful Grandma

I have been richly blessed in the family department.
Not the least of these blessings is my Grandma.

She has three other granddaughters, all older than me, yet I always knew that I was special to her.  My grandmother never had a daughter but she is SO girly.  When my grandfather was alive, he used to buy her beautiful porcelain dolls all the time.  When I was a little girl, my grandmother always bought me Madame Alexander dolls.
My grandmother comes from a large family and all of her brothers and sisters, neices and nephews stayed in the area, at least when I was a child.  My grandmother used to throw these lavish dinners, with 40 or 50 guests.  She would do most of the cooking herself.  The evening before, my mom and I, my grandmother's sisters and their daughters, my great grandmother, would all gather in my grandmother's big kitchen and cook together.  I loved those times.  I would listen to all of the juicy family gossip and feel so grown up when my grandmother taught me to peel mushrooms and break up the lettuce for salad.  

When I was a little girl, my two favorite shows were "The Waltons" and "Little House on the Prairie".  My grandmother also loved these shows and we would often talk about them.  But when we were over her house preparing for one of these dinners, my grandmother would call me "Erin" and she would give everyone names from the Waltons and we would play around like we were the Waltons.  When it was time for bed, I would sleep in the den, across the hall from my grandparents' bedroom and my grandmother would call out, "Good night, Erin!"

"Good night, Grandma," I would reply.

"Good night, John Boy," she would call out.

It was a game that we loved.

After dinner at my grandmother's house, and after spending a night listening to all of the juicy family gossip, I would pull my grandmother aside and tell her about "my pretend family".  I would come up with all kinds of juicy details.  My grandmother recalls many of the stories I told her, to this day.  Often, when we would get together, she would ask me how my husband, Vixen was and my daughters, Ugly and Laurie (these were the names I had given my make-believe family when I was 3 or 4).

My tenth and eleventh summers, my family rented a house in the Poconos on a lake.  My grandparents came with us.  My grandmother and I had such fun.  I took dance as a child and my grandmother would ask me to teach her to dance. We would laugh at her attempts, to this day she makes me laugh by attempting certain ballet steps.

When I was a difficult teenager, my grandma and I would have these silly, whimsical conversations about nothing, but they made me laugh and they let me know that she cared about me, even if she didn't know exactly what to say to me.

As I grew up, got married and had children, our relationship changed.  She definitely knows what to say to me now.  She has given me some great parenting advice, never batted an eye or challenged my decision to homeschool and has been very inquisitive and accepting of our decision.  She and I are very close.

Jason and I often talk about the house we lived in before this one, we were really happy there and we prefer that neighborhood over this one, but we moved for a work opportunity for Jason.  I am so grateful that this move also meant that we are closer to my grandmother.  Since we moved here seven years ago, we have seen her at least once a month.  Now my girls and I go to her house for tea every Monday afternoon after co-op.  She is a HUGE part of my girls' lives and they adore her as much as I do.  They call her Big G.  

I am so grateful that she got to be part of their lives, to watch them grow up.  I am so glad that they have the opportunity to see what kind of family they are from.  My grandmother is fun and fun-loving, she is a family person, she always makes you feel comfortable, she never leaves the house without make-up and jewelry.  Heck, she puts on make-up and gets dressed up even if she is not going anywhere!  She has candy dishes all over her house, filled with candy.  She buys treats for the girls when we go after co-op.  She loves to ask them about their day.

My grandmother is also stubborn, opinionated, free-spirited, she tells it like it is and she is one of the few people who won't take any nonsense from my father.  She is also hilariously funny, she likes to have a good time, she can party with the best of them.  Over the years most of my friends have met my grandmother, and they all adore her.   My grandma is also warm and loving and compassionate and sympathetic. Many people say that I am a lot like her.  I hope I am.

Today is her 92nd Birthday.

Happy Birthday, Gram!

We love you!!!