My Mom adored her grandchildren and as far as she was concerned they were her angels. There was no such thing as too much of whatever as far as she was concerned when it came to her grandchildren. If we, as parents, tried to say no to a second piece of cake or candy we were told "Grandma's house, Grandma's rules" and that second piece of cake or candy was given by her. I, as a Grandmother, also adore my grandchildren. Unlike my mother, however, I accept that they aren't little angels. Their halos aren't always perfectly straight and glowing. I try to be a good Mom and respect my childrens' roles as parents and not interfere when discipline is needed. When a Grandmother makes a statement like that you can be sure it will be followed with a but and I'm no exception.
Roy #2 called us last Tuesday evening asking if he could come for a visit. Of course the answer was yes so Papa picked him and his sister up the next day and they had the pleasure of being with Papa while he had to make a few stops. Their Dad called to check on when we'd get the kids and I told him his Dad had already left. "They're grounded from all electronics" my son advised me. Good Mom that I am I didn't ask him why since I was already planning to speak with my grandchildren later. You know, just to make sure the punishment fit the crime. "What if their cousins come over to play and they want the kids to play games on the play station" I asked him. "They're with you now so Grandma's house, Grandma's rules" he told me. When the kids arrived we talked for a while and when I asked them why they were grounded they told me with no hesitation. I shared what their Dad said about Grandma's house, Grandma's rules and all was well.
Of course they played with their cousins and whether or not they actually used any elecronics didn't matter. The weather was so nice that they were outside until dark; kids being able to be kids like I remembered my boys playing. My granddaughter, Roy #6, went grocery shopping with me so I could pick up their favorites for lunch, dinner, breakfast and snacks. The only kid foods I keep on hand are their cookie jar and M&M bowl which are both kept full on the counter for them. Even my grown children help themselves to the M&M bowl. I've told my grandchildren to help themselves but they will always ask me before taking any cookies. When Papa sometimes comments on the hand full of M&M's or the 3 or 4 cookies taken at a time I remind him too, "Grandma's house, Grandma's rules".
We had a little bit of excitement Holy Thursday while the kids were still with us. I made them their breakfast and then left them with Papa while I met Sister #4 for breakfast. When I returned home I saw that my husband's truck was gone and the kids were all outside with daughter-in-law #2. "Where's Compound" I asked her and she explained that he had taken himself to the ER at Arnot. I knew he hadn't been feeling well for a while but I was surprised that he went. Compound is not going to be happy with me for telling this but l have to in order to share the rest of the story about Roy #5. Long story short Compound was admitted overnight, tests done, and to our relief we were told the problems he's having aren't cardiac related. Roy #2 and #6 were taken home by their Aunt while I was with Compound. About 9:00 pm that evening the phone rings and I answer thinking it's Hubby.
"Hello Grandma, what are you doing" asks Roy #5.
"Just reading a bit before bed" I told him.
"But you don't have anyone to talk to" he says.
"Well, I have the television and the dog and cat are here".
"I could come over and sleep on your couch, you know, so you won't be lonely" he tells me.
"It's fine sweetie, I'll be just fine".
His answer is a reluctant "okay" and we hang up. The phone rings again and it's my Roy, "Grandma I really can sleep on your couch".
"Sweetie, if you want to come over you're welcome to stay, the back door's unlocked" I tell him. Before I can put the phone down he's coming in the back door with his pillow and blanket. He told me it bothered him to think I only had the dog and cat to talk to without Papa being home. We both slept well that night.
All our kids and grandkids were here for Easter and it was a wonderful day. I set things up buffet style, so everyone fixes their plate before sitting at the dinning table. The kids are now old enough that they fix their own plates, taking what they want and usually sitting together in the living room using our wooden tv trays. I don't think they mind not being with the adults in the dinning room because they can have their own conversations and not worry about their parents' eagle eyes watching what they do or don't eat. Roy #2 came back into the kitchen to get his beverage and I handed him a new jar of chilled dill pickles. "Thanks Mammy" he said with a big smile taking the jar from me. You see, he loves pickles of any kind. "It's not opened yet can you get it" I asked him and he assured me he could.
"Don't you eat all those pickles" his Mom tells him and he looks at me. "You eat what you want, how much you want, when you want" I tell him with a smile. Amid the confusion of family getting food, talking and the laughter I heard one of my daughters-in-law comment when she saw a package of Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls on the counter. "He loves those rolls and will finish the package if you let him". I found the empty pickle jar along with an empty package of Kings Hawaiian Rolls on the kitchen counter after dinner. Half the rolls were left in the other package. "Grandma's house, Grandmas rules".
My sisters and I don't usually see each other on the acutal Holiday but we always telephone to wish each other a "Happy" or "Merry" depending on the holiday. Early Easter morning I started by calling Sister #2 and finished with Sister #6 trying not to think about the one phone call I wouldn't be making this Easter. On past Easter mornings I would call my sister, Andrea, and find her busy cooking and putting the finishing touches to the Easter gifts for her grandchildren before joining her daughter and grandchildren for dinner. This year, all I could think about as I called my other sisters was "not this Easter" and that hurt. Throughout the day I thought of her often, how much I missed her and thinking about everything she was missing. It wasn't until later, after my family had all gone home, that I realized something important. Andrea wasn't missing anything. I realized she had a seat at a dinning table shared by others no longer with us. Most importantly, the host was Christ, whose ultimate sacrifice for us is the reason we celebrate Easter. I could picture her bustling around making sure everyone had what they needed and offering help to anyone who needed something. She was able to celebrate this Easter with the grandson who didn't live but a few hours after birth. Then I wondered, and this made me smile, what would Jesus think of "Grandma's house, Grandma's rules" remembering that He also had a Grandmother.