Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Nana

We've had lunch.  We've attempted naps and some quiet time to alleviate the bad case of the crankies to no avail.  The toddler, preschooler, and kindergartener are all getting under each other's skin and getting on my last nerve.  I hear a car pull up and park on the street out front.  The door closes and now there are footsteps on my porch.  I wasn't expecting anyone so I am a little surprised.  Maybe it's for the neighbor in the other half of this duplex.  No...

There's a happy little face peering in my front window now.  I see her and start for the door.  She motions me to stop before tapping on the window to catch the attention of the arguing kids at my feet.  I direct their attention to the window where they see their great-grandmother, my Nana, smiling and waving through the window.  They all race to the front door as I try to open it.  They tumble around Nana's legs trying to reach her as she bends to hug them.  We are a tangled and squealing knot of family all bunched up at the door.

Finally, Nana is able to make her way inside the living room from the cramped space by the door.  I'm able to give her a hug at last.  Nana announces that she was just out for a drive and decided to stop by.  Understand she lives 90 miles away.  Ah, the joys of retirement!

The kids are anxious to show her their toys, books, artwork, anything really.  Nana thinks nothing of getting down on the floor with them.  She makes plastic dinosaurs knock down towers of blocks for Isaac.  She has a tea party with Calypso.  She reads books to Diana.  I take a  minute to breathe and enjoy not having to be the sole source of entertainment or referee of fights for a few moments.

Nana announces the floor has become a bit hard and she is going to sit on the couch with me while they keep playing.  The kids agree happily and begin playing together nicely for the first time all day.  Nana and I enjoy a bit of time catching up with each other.  She tells me about how she is doing in her bowling league and where her next trip will be.  I tell her about the new things the kids are up to.

I invite Nana to stay for dinner since it's getting to be that time of day.  She declines telling me she needs to be on her way.  She never was one to stay put in one place too long.  I urge her to stay just long enough to eat.  She laughs and says maybe next time.  The kids beg her to come back to the floor with them.  She bends to hug each one as she reaches for her coat.

As unexpectedly as she arrived she is gone that quickly but her visit has blown out the stale air of contention and replaced it with a light breeze of happiness.  The kids return to their toys but without arguments this time.  I head to the kitchen to begin dinner with a lighter heart.

So many times over the years my grandmother would pop in like this sometimes alone, sometimes with a carload of her friends, always unannounced and yet always at a moment when we most needed something to break up the monotony or soothe some grouchy kids (or a grouchy mommy).  Nana has been gone for many years and I sometimes I long for a surprise visit from her just so we can share some laughs.  Today, on her birthday, I'll just hope you enjoy a favorite recurring scene that left lots of happy memories of her.

11 comments:

Craig said...

Nanas are really good that way. . .

Blessings to her memory. . .

That corgi :) said...

What a wonderful tribute to your Nana!! I bet you do miss her every single day; she sounds like a wonderful woman and Nana to you and your children!

betty

Suldog said...

Beautiful piece. You made me so want to be a kid again and visit with my grandparents...

[small tear forms at the corner of my eye, but it's OK because I understand I was blessed to have them]

Stephen Hayes said...

How wonderful that Nana thought nothing of sitting on the floor to play with your children at their level. What a special woman.

Craver Vii said...

I do not have that kind of memory of my own grandparents, but I hope to be that kind of grandpa (Poppa) to my two grandchildren.

My maternal grandmother raised 12 kids, so when my mom visited her mom, I suppose my Abuela already had enough of little kids. We were expected to sit quietly on the couch while these two ladies spent time alone in another room. I remember that she smelled like Winston cigarettes and always seemed to be annoyed with us. Pshh... whatever. That's probably what prompted such a strong bond between me and my Uncle Charlie. He used to do the Creature Feature laugh (Mwaaa ha ha haa...) and hide. We would look for him, and he always startled us when we found him. That's the only time in my life I ever looked forward to being scared.

My grandchildren might be a little fuzzy on what my face looks like, because it's usually behind a camera. But I do try to make sure their visits are marked by cheerfulness and affection.

Bijoux said...

I'm with Suldog in that it makes me miss my grandparents. None of them lived long enough to see me have children. What a blessing it is to have those memories.

silly rabbit said...

Thank you for the smile!

Sailor said...

What a wonderful way to remember her, this is great- makes me miss my mom & my mother-in-law though, cuz something about a grandma just manages to work with kiddos.

Hilary said...

Your Nana sounds like she was a special lady. It must be genetic.

Beach Bum said...

Nana has been gone for many years and I sometimes I long for a surprise visit...

Lost three important members of my family in the space of thirteen months starting back in 2007. I very much understand your feelings.

Secret Agent Woman said...

We lived with my grandmother for a while when my parents divorced, and I was very close to her. She died 10 years ago and I still miss her.