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Showing posts from August, 2017

Grandma No No

The two-year-old looked up at me as I dragged him away from the DVD player. He wasn’t happy.  “Grandma No-No,” he grumbled. I giggled at his pronouncement, but I could see why I had earned that moniker. His intelligence, curiosity, and fearlessness – all good traits – kept me on my toes.           He wanted to learn the how and the why of everything, but had to be redirected constantly.  If it was within his reach, he inspected it to learn its purpose.  The electrical socket and the DVD cabinet called to him only because it got a huge reaction from the adults. He saw no difference between his Super Hero toys and the expensive knick knacks on the coffee table. If it made a noise, tore at the mere touch, or bounced, it was his.   He soon learned that his height kept him from reaching things grownups didn’t want him to have, so he taught himself to climb. I watched as he pulled cushions off couches or dragged chairs into position so he could mountain climb from one to the other. I let him …

Letting Go; Emptying the Nest

When my three were little and they got into mischief, I warned them they would one day stand in my shoes.           Someone knocked a hole in the living room wall, another kicked a hole in the back of my brand-new recliner, all out of frustration because I held the line on discipline. They bucked curfews, skipped classes in school, and dated the very people I had warned them to avoid. Every time they gave me grief, I dealt out consequences.           You would think I looked forward to the day they would reach legal age and they would fly out of the nest.  You would think I would relish my well-earned peace and quiet.           But I didn’t.           My many years as a middle school teacher made me an expert at adolescent psychology, so at the same time I was upset by their misbehavior and bad choices, I also celebrated their fight for independence. I recognized their tantrums, disobedience, and rebellion as normal phases.  They were learning to be independent.  They were t…

The Importance of a Simple Thank You

One of my biggest peeves is not receiving a simple thank you for a gift given lovingly and willingly to another.  Grandma asks a child what he wants for Christmas or his birthday and gets a long wish list.  After the child opens the present, he tosses it aside and grabs another without acknowledging or thanking her. The time, effort, and money spent in the process is treated inconsequential, a right and not a privilege.   The following holiday, again the child does the same.  Grandma’s gift is lost among the many others.  No acknowledgement.  No thank you.  If the outcome is the same whether the giver offers a present or not, then why bother? I use the example of a grandchild, but my experience has been wide and varied. This incident has happened repeatedly to me with family and friends where a celebration requires a gift.  What happened to the formal thank you note?   Why is it considered antiquated when the giving of gifts hasn’t gone out of style? We complain about the entitled gene…

Happiness – A Simple Explanation

Scientists can prove “happiness” through brain scans, chemical secretions, even the subtle change in individual cells.  It has also been proven that one’s facial expression can affect one’s disposition.  The body anticipates “happiness” if one practices smiling. I don’t need all that to know what makes me happy. -Bare toes on the beach, the feel of cold, wet sand soothing away the tiredness -A sunrise, its promise of a new day -A vibrant sunset, the accomplishment of that promise -Children’s laughter, especially giggles and squeals -The first sip of coffee in the morning -A drink of cold water flowing down a parched throat -A satisfying ending to a good story, be it a book, a tale, or a movie -A small, unexpected kindness -A loving, understanding partner, family, a good friend -A decadent dessert or a simple, crisp saltine cracker -A moving piece of art; music that stirs the soul -The perfect bubble -A butterfly, a dragonfly, bird in song