A popular theme I found in blogs today, was parents contemplating the way their children were growing too fast, leaving the nest, flying past milestones...
I can really relate. It's been on my mind a lot lately. My daughter has four girls, spread out in age from fourteen to two. The fourteen-year-old used to think I was neater than sliced bread. I was the world's greatest Nana, and I have the letter to prove it! Now, I sometimes embarrass her. The two-year-old just thinks I'm fun to play peek-a-boo with. The four-year-old has become very possessive over my attention as the baby vies for it. (And I love it.) But it's the eleven-year-old that my thoughts have been dwelling on lately...
I usually refer to her in my blogs as #2. #2 can be difficult at times. She is one of those children that you don't always know what she's feeling. As outgoing as she is, she can be quite introverted. Sometimes she's hard to get close to. Though she can be distant, there are times when we are extremely close. She loves to sit on my lap and have me scratch her back. (Truthfully, I think she'd sit on anyone's lap for a good scratch.) But the very best times we share are in the bathroom. (Nothing weird here folks, so don't get crazy on me.)
#2 is the one who is always particular about how her hair looks and if her clothes fit right. She puts great thought into her accessory choices. She loves to have me help her with her hairstyle. I guess almost everyone enjoys having their hair brushed by someone else. We take great care in selecting just the right perfume for her to wear. When she stays with us and takes a bath or shower, she likes me to pamper her like a princess. At home, there is too much going on with four kids for her to get that special attention. Mommy's goals are to get the kids to the point where they don't require assistance in the bathing and grooming department. So, starting when she was young, she loved the special 'salon' treatment she got from Nana. When she would shower, I would scrub her back for her. I would wait outside the shower door, and when it opened, quickly wrap her in a bath sheet before she got a chill. I gently combed out the tangles in her long wet hair and then dried her hair for her. I sometimes even referred to her as 'Your Highness' as though I was her hand maiden.
Now she is eleven. #1 was starting to develop at that age, but #2 is quite a bit slower in that area. I'm glad. When she spent the weekend not long ago, she wanted to take a bath in my whirlpool tub. I added foaming bath salts. She wanted me to shampoo her hair as she leaned her head back under the faucet. I happily obliged.
I know it won't be long before she is repulsed by the idea of her Nana running her bath, washing her hair for her, or waiting with the towel. That will be a major milestone for me... it will mean she has grown from being my little princess. No matter how many times I tell her she will never outgrow my lap, I know in my heart that time is very near. I hope that I can find another way for us to have that close one-on-one time. At least there are two more waiting in the wings...
TRY TO FIND OUT HER INTERESTS AND JOIN HER or TEACH HER TO BAKE A CAKE/COOKIES.JOIN A CHOCOLATE MAKING CLASS.
It's always a shame to lose the small things that were once accepted as fun to be embarrassing. It's like the innocence is lost.
I could never bathe my children the way I did when they were young of course. The things that will never change are that grandchildren will come and go. I do like the fact that I still get new ones I can suds up in the Whirlpool Tub. They will grow up and I will still have the fond memories.
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