My twelve year old granddaughter and I were blessed with an afternoon together, without little brother, parents or friends, It is unusual to have her to myself now days and I wanted to take advantage of the time to remind her I was fun and we enjoy each other’s company. I picked her up from school and we drove thru Starbuck’s to take advantage of their 50% off deal on frapaccinos. (See I am fun.) Chatting and sipping she shared her day as I drove to Birkdale, a cute and trendy shopping area 25 miles away.

First stop, Barnes & Noble, always a satisfying and expensive experience for me. We relaxed and wandered in separate directions. She enjoyed the freedom she has to be on her own and finds me when she needs to connect. I enjoyed being able to browse in the sections I like. We took our purchases to the car and walked to the restaurant she chose. As she was eating her Bento box of sushi and Thai chicken, she looked at me, grinned and said, “This is soooo fun”. My heart jumped and I could feel the moisture behind my eyes. I grinned too and nodded YES.

As my children, and now my grandchildren, grow I miss outgrown behaviors they shared with me. I often lament the loss of my granddaughters company on weekends, weeks during the summer and sick days. I miss her when I visit and she’s in her bedroom. I miss her when she visits me and is in her bedroom. I miss the little girl who thought I was perfect. It’s all good! She’s growing up as she should – becoming the girl God intends her to be. Trying on new ideas, looks, music, activities, and friends. Developing independence. Needing approval from peers. Cuddling and being silly right before a “mood” strikes. All healthy and normal.

How am I adjusting? I pay attention. I have a gift in each member of my family. When we’re together I watch, listen and soak up all I can of who they are. We live physically close and I see them often, but we have boundaries and separate lives I have the freedom to love and play with my grandchildren without parenting. To spoil, to send home when I’m tired, to pray for, to watch them grow-up, to be part of their lives. I get to be Nana.



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