I had the best grandmother in the world. I think I've said that before. We lived in Tucson and she lived in San Diego, so visiting her was infrequent, but what an exciting time for me when we went to her house. She adored me, simple as that.
I was thinking of her yesterday. Arielle and I went to my daughter-in-law's house to pick her up, along with my granddaughter Lana. We pulled in the driveway, and Lana dressed in pink hearts bounced out to the car, her long hair gold in the afternoon sun. I adore that child. I hope she knows it. Girls' Day Out! We had an afternoon of shopping planned.
Chrissy and I are both on very limited budgets, so we were very discriminating about what we put in our cart. Lana, being a typical 6-year-old with no cares about money, wanted a stuffed animal. Over and over she implored her mother to get her one. I too loved stuffed animals when I was a child. Unlike my daughters whose rooms are filled with them, I had just four animals over the course of my childhood. Each one was so very special. My grandmother bought one of them.
On a visit to California, my sister and I were in a store with my grandmother. Maybe we were clamoring for a gift, I don't know. But I remember my grandmother saying we could get something. I was old enough to realize she did not mean a big something, just a little treat or toy. A huge display of plush teddy bears caught my eye. Could we have one of those? I can still see my grandmother's face. She hesitated, wanting to say no, it was too much. But she said yes! My sister chose a brown and tan bear. Mine was pink and white.
Lana never asked me for anything. I could tell Chrissy wanted to get her something, but she needed to buy clothing instead. So I knelt down and told Lana about my grandmother and my bear. And then I told her that her own grandma would get her the animal she desired. She must have already had one in mind. She ran to the display and immediately chose a gray kitty.
Lana didn't need another stuffed animal. Maybe she shouldn't have been allowed a toy, since she kept asking after her mother said no. But isn't that a grandmother's role? To give when it isn't deserved? To indulge a child, to be the pushover? Parents so often have to be the "no" person. I want to be able to say "yes" to my grandchildren.