On Sunday evening, my granddaughter Anna told me, “Nana and I share girl stuff”. I’m not sure exactly what she meant but I have a pretty good idea. On Saturday her Nana (my Debbie) bought her a pink tutu and ballet slippers. And on Sunday morning they made pancakes together – Anna knows all the rules of Nana’s kitchen – “we wash hands first, Pawpaw!” Plus later, on Sunday afternoon Nana painted Anna’s toenails red. So I suspect all of that stuff that they shared was “girl stuff”. So grandmothers and granddaughters share girl stuff and so much more. What a blessing for all.
Debbie had a grandmother that she loved dearly and her Mimi loved her. Mimi would take time with her just like Deb now takes time with our granddaughters Charlise and Anna. Debbie fondly remembers how she and Mimi shared girl stuff, too. And I know that Deb must feel Mimi’s spirit smiling down on them during those special times when she and our granddaughters are together now.
Six-year old Charlise loves spending time at Nana’s house. She actually calls it Nana’s house (as if I’m a boarder only allowed to live here out of Nana’s enormous generosity). There are always favorite foods and special meals. Always special things to do and special places to go. Nana makes certain that Charlise’s weekends at Nana’s house are always fun! They bake cookies together and there’s popcorn and “movie night”. And I get to join in the fun sometimes, too. But the “girl stuff” is just for them. And I believe that’s the way it should be.
Now (almost) three-year old Anna will tell you that she’s Pawpaw’s girl but everyone knows that she’s Nana’s shadow. Not only does she act like Deb but she mimics her every move. If they’re cooking together, Anna will take notice so as to stir and mix in her ingredients in the exact same manner that Nana does. If they’re signing together, Anna will finish the words of the songs that Deb is singing. And she even plays with Deb’s stupid little dogs – one of the reasons that I still haven’t called the animal shelter for a pick-up. She even loves feeding those dumb dogs.
So Nana and her girls “share girl stuff”. And it’s really nothing new. I suppose grandmothers and granddaughters have been sharing time together since life began. But what makes it special isn’t what they do – what makes it “sharing girl stuff” is the intrinsic bond that grandmothers and their granddaughters have. There is something almost primal in their need to bridge the generations. Granddaughters learn about tradition and grandmothers get to glimpse and help shape the future. It’s their legacy.
And grandfathers? Well we get to marvel at the wonder of it all.