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Monday, 31 May 2010

Meghan Again

By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr

Meghan walked into my computer room, put her hands on her hips, looked around and said, “Nana, do you have to live like this?”

“Like what”, I asked.

“Well it’s a mess in here” she said.

“So,” I answered.

“Well, you know that I think so much like you, that it means one day I’ll live like this!” And we both hugged and laughed!

Meghan is now 17 years old, a high school senior and has her driver’s license. She has come to spend the week end with me. When she and her older sister entered their teens, I stopped buying presents for them – it just didn’t make sense. Our tastes were not the same. So, I started a new ritual.

For their birthday, they would come alone or with a girlfriend to visit me and for a shopping trip. I would take them out to dinner and set an amount I would spend and they shopped. They and I loved it. We had some quality time together and they got what they wanted for their birthday.

The problem was finding a date to do it that suited both of us. Meghan’s birthday was this past November and here it was March and we were just now shopping.

Over the years there have been instances and coincidences that made our ideas mesh. We’ve delighted in that and teased about it. Meghan has fine thin hair that you can’t do anything with – just like Nana’s. A few months ago she was talking about a school project and I suggested that she use one of the songs that we used at Camp Midas years ago. She laughed and said – “That’s what I’m using.”

Her basketball number was the same as mine which I didn’t remember until I found an old picture of me. So over the years, we’ve decided there’s a connection. But I didn’t get it when she first walked in and started commenting about my office.

Any time spent with Meghan is interesting, challenging and spirited. She feels comfortable asking questions (whether she’s supposed to or not), comfortable expressing her opinion whether it’s proper or not, comfortable telling others what’s wrong with their thinking and she’s sure everybody wants to know what she’s thinking or feeling – well, they’re going to hear anyway!

As I have aged, doing everyday chores have become more difficult. Meghan helps when she is here. I marvel at how good-natured and cooperative she is. I don’t get awww do I have to or in a minute or do you really want to do that? She doesn’t drag around either – she just does it and says, “what’s next Nan?”

I love the way this granddaughter of mine has grown up. Most of the time her teenage obstinacy is left behind and she is a charming and insightful companion. Her life is going to be a challenge. The outspokenness and throwing herself completely into a project will often give her grief but will also often give her great joy.

Living her life will be her adventure and watching her life unfold will be my adventure.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Meghan is a lucky girl to have a Nana like you. I've come to the same birthday conclusion with my grandkids and they are still tiny. Instead of sending them something for their birthday (something they don't need or want), we are starting a summer birthday trip for all three of them (along with their parents while they are still small). This summer we will ride the train from Portland to Seattle. I'm committed to doing it because my daughter says that's all three-year-old Miles talks about: "When Grammy comes, we're going to ride the train."

Aren't granddaughters wonderful? I am leaving tomorrow to go visit mine. They live in another state so I don't see them often, but I always schedule an 'alone day' with each of them. Now that they are older I know they are so busy with other activities that will no longer happen, but it was lovely when it did.

Thanks for the wonderful tips on Grand-mothering, Mary! I'm new to it and wonder how and if I will blend into my granddaughter's life. I really like the sharing time concept and I hope I am around and she will want to spend time with me in such a ritual. You two are very lucky to have each other!

You need to tell them about Camp Midas--I always thought that was one of the most wonderful, constructive and creative intergenerational (among many others) projects that you did with your grandkids. Lots of good ideas for grandparents.
Cute story. I laughed again reading it as I did when I heard you tell it.

Thanks for your comments. I feel you appreciated the loving bond between Meghan and me.

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