Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Educating Grandma : Lagniappe

on July 7, 2014

It was Thursday and they came again. They brought their backpack-full of the day’s necessities – I-pad, I-pod, books and bathing suits. I met them at the door of the building and we made our way up the elevator to my floor. We admired the peculiar bubble-shaped imperfections on the wall of mirrors across from the elevator door. I explain that’s how I know it’s my floor when the elevator stops. Only the fourth floor has such an artistic touch. We stepped inside Apartment 412 and settled in for the morning.

We were getting into a routine. Remarkable, I thought, for only the second time my grandchildren Aidan (11) and Mia (8) spent the day with me while their dad was at work. I checked my morning email while Mia read and Aidan played a game on his I-pad. Aidan has been instructing me in games since Mario’s Cars (?). He is kind enough not to give up. The morning looked like rain which would interrupt our plans to swim in the pool behind my apartment in the patio garden. We still had lunch to look forward to, in any event. And then the sun broke through the clouds and down we went to go swimming.

After pool time we walked over to Boston Market for lunch. Again. There were untried sides on the menu we wanted to order. We haven’t yet made our way through the whole menu so we’ll eat there again next Thursday. After Boston Market we headed to Baskin Robbins in search of new flavors. It will be a while before we exhaust the Baskin Robbins possibilities I think our lunch time routine is set for the foreseeable future. It’s funny that we are all three creatures of dependable habit.

But life has a lovely way of sneaking in something different. After lunch we returned to our own interests. Aidan went back to his I-pad, I worked word puzzles, and Mia wandered around investigating things. I had told the kids that no place was off-limits in my apartment and was glad that Mia accepted my invitation to explore. My old turquoise blue brocade-covered jewelry box caught her eye. She brought me a couple of things to inquire about. My jewelry box contains a multitude of stories I yearned to tell a granddaughter someday. And things I wanted to hand down. I sent Mia home with a locket she can put a small picture in and a turquoise birthstone ring given to me by my mother on my 6th birthday that is just her size.

And the Lagniappe thing? In Louisiana lagniappe means “something extra”- a gift. I have long felt sad, and a little guilty, that I did not have a true “grandma’s house” to welcome my children and grandchildren into. The townhouse where my second husband and I lived was basically the office for his practice of psychotherapy. I and any family guests had to work around the days and times patients were there. Not like any grandma’s house I had heard of. In the two years since I moved to be near two of my sons and families I have often visited them at their houses. This summer for the first time it’s just me and the grandkids in my apartment with my old things and good food, albeit provided by Boston Market and Baskin Robbins. I have discovered that Grandma’s House is truly here – because having grandkids in it makes it so. Lagniappe!

4 responses to “Educating Grandma : Lagniappe

  1. Chaos Girl says:

    I love this – it’s a beautiful vignette of family. You paint such a picture of warmth and quiet peace, though I’m not sure if the reality was as quiet?! 😀 I never had a granny to visit in this way, and it sounds like such an inviting time and place you’ve created for the grandkids. It’s so lovely you can finally share your treasures with them, and the lagniappe – perfect! (I might, though, be a bit jealous that you can walk into Boston – it sounds like an interesting city to spend time in!)

    • vivachange77 says:

      I never had a granny to visit either. That is what’s so lovely about my apartment being transformed into Grandma’s house without my having a model for how to do it. Boston Market is a chain of restaurants in the US that started as a rotisserie- chicken take away place. The one we go to is in Cleveland, Ohio. And about the quiet, I am calm and in the moment with my grandkids. That is a luxury of being a grandma. My grandkids are sometimes quite noisy.

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