My oldest grandchild is about to turn thirteen this Sunday. I remember very clearly my thirteenth birthday, and I know I felt very grown up. How can that sweet grandbaby of mine feel that way when she’s not supposed to be anywhere near grown up yet? In three short years she will be driving a car and maybe even…aaarrrgggghhhhh…dating boys, those nasty little beasties!
My granddaughter, H., is one of the sweetest, most gentle spirits I know. However, I have to tell you that when she was younger, she was something of a pickle. A phone conversation we had when she was only three gives deep insight into her early years. The first words out of her mouth were, “Mimi, I made bad choices today.” Her transgressions, though grievous to her mother, were actually quite humorous to her grandmother.
My son Ben told the story of one of his visits to her house one summer when she was four. A neighbor mommy had given both of them a popsicle. After wolfing down hers, H. turned her eyes on Ben’s half-eaten one. “Uncle Ben, can I have a taste of your popsicle?” The unsuspecting Ben readily complied, only to be relieved of the burden of finishing the treat. “H.,” he said, “that’s my popsicle. Don’t you like to share?” She sweetly looked up at him and said, “Sometimes I do.” There was a pause as she thoughtfully took another bite. “And sometimes I don’t,” she continued as she devoured the rest.
When I told my daughter Ben’s story, since he had not shared it with her, she started laughing and shared a similar story that had just occurred. The previous day my daughter had invited a friend over for lunch. My daughter was in the kitchen while her friend was in the living room with my granddaughter. My daughter called H. into the kitchen to help with something. H. ignored the summons though it was obvious H. had heard it. The friend said to her, “H., your mother just called you. Don’t you have to mind your mother when she tells you to do something?”
H.’s reply was, “Sometimes I do…and sometimes I don’t.” What H. hadn’t counted on was that my daughter had heard every word, and H.’s behind was stinging before her words had ceased to ring in the air.
Now, you may wonder why I’m remembering these incidents that happened so long ago as my beautiful H. is nearing a milestone. It’s because I need to hold onto those moments to remind me that she really was little once. She wasn’t always this poised, responsible teenager. That little pickle is now a beautiful young woman who will brighten this world wherever she goes. I know, because she brightens the heart of this grandma. Happy birthday, Angel May.