Thursday, November 26, 2009

Journal of a Living Lady #360

Nancy White Kelly

I don’t remember the title, but I recall the line: “When he was good, he was really good. But when he was bad, he was really bad.”

Charlie’s boys are still very young, just two and four. Like most grandmothers, I dote on them and Bobby’s two as well. I have never had a serious confrontation with any of them. Just fun, games and secret Granny snacks. M & M’s are a special treat. All four grandchildren know about my long, blue surprise box kept in the den. It holds a variety of boy toys and glitzy baubles that a ten-year-old girl couldn’t resist. Unusually good behavior or exceptional manners can earn a trip to Granny’s box. Sometimes it doesn’t take a reason at all.

Last week Tori needed to take Micah to a doctor in Atlanta for a follow-up visit. Buddy and I were enlisted to keep two-year-old Noah in Cornelia. We had a delightful time making snakes out of clay, threading large beads and just romping around the house.

Later that afternoon, Micah and Tori returned from their tiresome day. While listening to Tori tell about the recommendation of the neurologist, Micah took advantage of our inattention. He slipped out the back door into the carport and mounted his Daddy’s parked motorcycle. Amidst adamant protest, Tori removed the pint-sized Evel Knievel from the bike. I explained how sad I would be if that heavy motorcycle fell on him. Nothing that I said registered positively with Micah. My usually complacent grandson kicked me. It wasn’t a premeditated kick, just poor impulse control.

Tori scolded Micah and sent him to his room. A few minutes later I asked Tori’s permission to talk with him privately thinking that he had settled down by now and could be reasoned with. That turned out to be wishful thinking.

Micah wasn’t in a peace-making mode. He attempted to kick me again, this time intentionally. Instinctively, I swatted his bottom a couple of times with my hand. Though he looked shocked at my first-ever spanking of a grandchild, he gave no evidence of remorse. If he had been my son, I would have carried it a step further. But I know my role as grandmother isn’t chief disciplinarian and backed off. I told Micah I was disappointed in his behavior and left him to sit in his room.

Though Charlie would be home very soon from his moon-lighting job after teaching middle school, Buddy and I decided to postpone visiting with him this day. We wanted to get over the mountains before darkness settled.
We told Noah good-bye and asked our frustrated daughter-
in-law to tell Micah that we loved him and hoped our next visit would go better.

Hardly two hours had passed when our phone rang at home. It was Charlie. He said Micah wanted to tell me something. I sensed what was coming. After a brief silence, the words came.

“I am sorry, Granny.”

I am not sure what it took to get Micah to this point and never asked. He sounded so sweet and sincere. I took the opportunity to remind Micah that it was never okay to kick, especially his grandmother. I thanked Micah for apologizing and emphasized that I still loved him and would always love him no matter how badly he acted. However, good behavior pleased me more.

It was over now. Lesson learned. Clean slate.

For some reason I don’t think Micah will kick me again. When he is good, he is very good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Journal of a Living Lady #359

Nancy White Kelly

Seems as if I just finished carving the pumpkin. Next on the agenda is Thanksgiving. Then, of course, comes Christmas. I do wish the holidays were spaced further apart. If I were appointed Czar of Holidays, the dates for Thanksgiving and Christmas would be at least six months apart. I would eliminate the witchy motif of Halloween.

Thanksgiving is my favorite annual holiday. No presents needed, just the presence of loved ones. What a special time to re-focus and reflect on life’s blessings. Indeed I am grateful. Once you lose your health and regain it, each day becomes a special addition.

Spending time outside the United States this year reminded me of how fortunate I am to be an American. Any of us could have been born in a remote tribal village on the other side of the world. Buddy and I feel privileged to live in the mountains half-way to heaven. What else is there to desire?

Sure. Who wouldn’t want a million dollars in small bills? But our needs are met and we are content.

What adult with a child doesn’t love Christmas? Being born on Christmas Eve destined me to love that season. If only there was a wand to zap the commercialism. Finding scarecrows and reindeer competing for shelf space in the summer time does not jive with my reminiscence of Christmases past.

If Christ was truly born in December, I might relish the spiritual aspect even more. Biblical scholars insist that Jesus was born in the spring. Well, we can always pretend and we do, from the fantasy of Santa Claus to the exact December 25th birth date of baby Jesus.

There are some things that are certain. We can depend on the I.R.S. to bring us back to earth in January with those dreaded tax forms. Seems like we just did those darn things a month ago. Buddy and I have receipts for 2009 jammed into an over-flowing cardboard box with no semblance of order. The good intentions of being more prepared for the next tax season are turning out to be just that…intentions.

But, like dear Scarlett, I’ll think about that tomorrow. I’m off to find a dead turkey before the family comes. My wish for you:

May your dressing be tasty
May your Tom turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!