Nana the Notorious

RandyDinkins-grandparent

Betterphoto.com

 

He strode up the steps with a grin as wide as the Mississipi, a cup the size of Texas in his hands. The bright contents were positively florescent. His teeth were cornflower blue. His tongue looked painted.

“I have a slushy!” he announced.

“I see!” I commented, amused.

“Nana got me,” he added.

I smiled. I didn’t think his mom – who kept close watch over her son’s intake of junk of any form – would have gotten him this “certainly-no-food-in-nature-has-this-color” slushy, let alone a bathtub of it.

“Mama’s not home,” the boy declared. “She coming back Friday.”

“In San-Francisco,” Nana made an appearance at the landing leading to the last flight of stairs. “Business meetings.” She was a little out of breath but seemed as ebullient as her grandson. Her arms were laden with the boy’s panda bear backpack, her purse, a shopping bag, a phone, and her own cup of icy drink. Coffee, from the looks of it.

“Nana taking care of me,” he stated the obvious. He snuck a conspiratorial grin at his grandmother. “We got candy!” he pointed to the bag.

“For after dinner,” she blushed.

“But I can have one now,” he clarified. “Nana said.”

Her blush deepened and I chuckled.

“For right now, how about you take another sip or two from your slushy, then we’ll put it in the fridge where it can stay cold while we work,” I said.

The boy deflated some and glanced at his grandma, maybe to see if she’ll support him in a mutiny if he refused to part with his icy treat.

“I’ll take a sip from my ice-coffee and we can put my cup in the fridge, too,” she soothed. “This way we’ll both have some for the ride home, too!”

He pondered, eyebrows still in a huddle. “But I can have candy, right?”

She looked at me. “It’s gummies.”

“Sure,” I nodded. “You can have one, like Nana said you could. The rest will wait in the bag for you.”

His smile returned and he slurped more of the blue liquid. Then we ceremoniously made room for it in the fridge. Even without the tall straw, it dwarfed Nana’s “grande” cup.

The boy wiped both hands on his shirt, reached into the shopping bag and dug out a yellow gummy shaped suspiciously like a spider. He laughed at my exaggerated fright. “You’re silly! It’s not real. It’s just candy!”

He stuffed it into his mouth and spoke around it as he shimmied to his seat. “We having pizza for dinner, and we’ll watch a whole movie after. With popcorn even!”

“Sounds like you two are making the most of it,” I laughed.

“She’s so strict with him,” the grandmother confided. “She’s a great mom, don’t get me wrong, but all this no this, no that …” She caressed her grandson’s cheek and lowered herself to the couch with a sigh. “These stairs!”

“A kid’s gotta’ live a little,” she added. Her eyes sparkled. “I have him for two days and I intend to do my very best to spoil him.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Happiness glide

happy chipmunk

“I had the best weekend ever!” the preschooler’s eyes sparkled.

“Oh, wow, that’s so great!” I responded, grinning. It is contagious, you know, this kind of zest for life. And the enthusiasm of this little one was particularly catching. He literally beamed delight.

“We had the best ever dinner and the best ever pizza!” he bounced on his heels, the words not coming nearly fast enough. “And I saw the best movie ever on the Netflix. And my grandpa makes the best popcorn and it like magic in the microwave and I have the best pajamas ever!”

“You have new pajamas?!” My monkey brain had to assume.

He paused and regarded me with some confusion. “I already HAVE the best pajamas ever! It’s superman pajamas!”

Silly me.

He kicked off his shoes and glided on the wood floor with his socks, balancing with his arms. “Wheee! Best floor ever!”

“Did you have the best weekend ever, too?” he added, not quite waiting for a response before sighing contentedly. “You did, right? Because it was the best weekend ever!”

The details change a bit; there’s not always popcorn, sometimes its just TV and not Netflix, sometimes it is the park, or playing ball, or baking cookies, or his dad reading him  story. Doesn’t matter. The weekend is always–always–the best one ever.

And it makes for Happy Mondays; every one.

Swing high

To all the little girls on beaches everywhere …

Inspired by the beatific smile of one …

Remembered with much fondness today.

 

swing beach

Swing high.

Touch the sky.

Feel the sand 

Rushing by.

Sense the surf

Humming forth.

Hear the waves

Singing froth.

Swing on high.

To the sky.

Sun and cloud

Streaming by.

Move your heart

To the pace,

Of your legs’

Aerial race.

Swing up high.

Touch the sky.

My oh my.

Breathe and fly.

Beautiful Like Me!

She came dancing up the stairs, ecstatic, barely able to contain her smile. And she was a sight to behold:

Pastel rainbow tutu skirt over purple denim and red t-shirt with a sparkly princess on it (and a few star stickers), pink tennis shoes (with rainbow laces), green and yellow polka-dot socks (with frilly tops), rainbow-loom bracelets on both wrists, three plastic beads necklaces (one with 1/2 inch hearts interspersed), five hair pins (with various glittery bits and in various states of sliding off), shimmery hair ties holding two droopy pigtails of dark brown corkscrew curls. A smile as wide as the ocean. And a periwinkle clutch, princess stamped and glitter splattered.

Joy incarnated.

She went directly to the long mirror, struck a pose. Her mother chuckled–the last thing her daughter looked at before leaving home was their mirror. The girl stops to admire her reflection in store windows, too.

“I’m so beautiful!” the little one noted in delight.

She was not referring to her features or her body–chubby cheeked, dimpled, lisping, and lovable all over. The beauty was in the gestalt effect of her composition. Hers is aesthetic enjoyment rather than self-adoration.

Her ensemble changes week to week, varied shades of glorious. Never her elation. The wells of her joy are bottomless, oh, the endless possibilities of pleasing presentations!

She’s a walking fashion statement. She’s as happy in oversize overalls and chunky boots (with sparkly necklaces and mismatched socks). No one would be surprised if she ends up an artist, designer, or otherwise eclectic. She’s her own being already. Absolutely comfortable in her skin. Contagiously delighting in her creations.

Yesterday, she twirled around before of my mirror. Swung her arms, touched her necklaces, straightened an errant rainbow lace, wrapped a ringlet around a finger. She grinned throughout.

“I’m so beautiful,” she sighed, satisfied, “I am beautiful like me!”

beautiful1

 

Find Joy!

joy

Find joy in the places where sunshine streams inwards

Find joy in the friendships that sparkle the heart

Double over with mirth

Let belly laugh jingle

And all worry scatter

Find joy in a dance, in art, in creation

In mirroring pleasure

Where words do not matter

joy1

Find joy in belonging

In giggles with one like no other

In nature come close

And delight spilling over

joy2