Saturday, May 3, 2014

Liberal Applications of Fairy Dust

Grand-mothering.  It's one of my favorite forms of existence; the one among the many that have enriched my life in ways only we grandmothers are privy to.  I dare say a library, or even the Blogosphere for that matter, could not possibly contain all the tales and photos we generate.  

I didn't know my grandparents.  It's the downside to having been born late in life to older parents.  By the time I joined the family fray all but one grandparent had passed away.  And that one, Annie Clare McFadden-Wells (left, my father's mother) was nearly petrified when finally I did make my appearance. 

My one lingering memory of Grandma Annie is that she had big, black, hideously ugly shoes ~ you know the type, the ones most often seen on witches.  She didn't live near us so I don't recall any interactions between she & I.  No lap sitting.  No story telling. No baking.  No overnights (with movies & popcorn).  No trips to the zoo.  No sagas about the olden days.  Zilch.  Nada.  And by the time I was eight she, too, was gone.

Thankfully, like mothering, instincts kick in when one finally does advance to life's grand portions.  I have delighted in my role, often having to make it up as I go & relying on those instincts since no role-model patterned it for me. 

Were I to paint a self-portrait it would look something like this:  the best from my own mothering years laced with hues of Mary Poppins, Marmee (Little Women), Aurora (Terms of Endearment), and my beloved mother.  The sassy part came easy. 

My husband simply calls me "The Sugarplum Fairy".

A garden of love grows in
a grandmother's heart.
~ Author Unknown

There are things about mothering that I would do differently today if I were starting over.  For instance:  more patience, fewer rules; more praise, fewer scoldings; more focus on relationships, less vacuuming ... to name a few.  In fact, I can't count the times I've said to no one in particular:  "If I'd known then what I know now, I would/would not have done thus and so."  It's not regret so much as it is reflection.

Since child-rearing do-overs aren't possible, I thank God for the opportunities afforded we grandmothers because of that aforementioned reflection.  My favorite?  Sprinkling fairy dust, as all good Sugarplum Fairies will do.


Denise said...

Loved this.

Debbie said...

I couldn't relate better to this post if I tried, lol. The title of grandmother couldn't be one that I could possibly enjoy more. It has been an absolute delight in every way. I try my very best to have all memories of their grandma to be just that...sprinkled with fairy dust. And I also feel the same way about my mothering days. Soo many things I would do differently. And like you, not so much from regret, as it is I am just soo much more wise now about what is important and what is not. I could be pretty strict. I had LOTS of rules. One thing I don't regret at all is that I always had such good communication with all of them. Even through some of the hard times and difficult years. Looking back now I am glad I pushed so for that as it makes our relationships what they are today. Great post Kathleen!

Saleslady371 said...

This is a hoot, Kathleen. It sounds like you are a wonderful mother, grandmother to all of them young and old and relate very well to each one. I agree about the less rules, goodness yes, when it comes to reflection of days past. The graphic made me laugh!

Renee Regnier said...

I love this, too! Gotta have that magical fairy dust!

Maryann said...

I think you are absolutely right. There are so many things i would have done different with my own children if I could have a do-over but since i can't, I'll take what i've gleaned from those reflections and apply it to how I grandparent.

Lisa Shaw said...

Wow! Kathleen, this blessed me!

Thanks for sharing! I shared your page on my twitter. You are always such a blessing with the wisdom and insight you share.

Love you!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I understood your heart as I read each word. I think fairy dust is something grandchildren love, and we love to sprinkle. Your post inspired me as I right now have three little ones in my care...and I am looking for some extra fairy dust to sprinkle.