Last week, my two-year-old granddaughter, Isla, came up to me, pressed her wee hands together, and said: “Namaste, Nana.” I laughed out loud and asked my daughter where she had learned that, to which my daughter replied: “Who knows – maybe TV?”
It was adorable and, of course, I asked her to do it over and over again because each time she did, we laughed.
Then yesterday, my adorable niece Quin was over to visit and she impressed me over and over again: “See my ‘piroulettes’ Auntie!” as she spun around and around like a ballerina. Her little lisp and tiny voice combined with her interpretation of how to say pirouette made me laugh so I encouraged her to continue ‘pirouletting' for Auntie over and over again.
Gosh, I needed that laughter. If I could bottle up the smell of a newborn's head, toss in a cinnamon sprinkling of the attitude of a two-year-old, the vision of a toddler ‘pirouletting’ all over the living room, and include the milky warmth of a baby's breath – I would huff it like a drug.
All the feels – all the emotions.
A voice interrupts my subconscious: “Steady on Old Girl, don’t be getting sappy during times like this! You are a Momma and a Nana – you have responsibilities during tough times!”
It’s true. Momma’s and Nana’s have the soft, reassuring arms of sense and reason. You know how they say that you shouldn’t get worried on a plane unless the flight attendant looks worried? Well, the same thing goes for us Momma’s and Nana’s – if we are calm and reassuring, our flock will be calm and reassured.
That being said, we are also able to magically MacGyver craft supplies out of darn near anything. An old box becomes a go-cart or sled that can be pushed around the carpeted living room (just take the staples out of the bottom first). That same box can become part of the living room furniture that holds up the blanket fort.
Play-dough can be made, cookies can be baked and colouring books can be filled. The newspaper (after you read it, of course) can be cut up into strips, dipped in a glue concoction, and placed over an inflated balloon. Piñata anyone?
We must also remember the same place where my granddaughter picked up the endearing “Namaste, Nana” is the same place where she can pick up other things, which can create fear and anxiety. Kids are always watching, always listening – yes, even our adult children.
I am raising my Irish Cream-laden coffee to all of the Momma’s and Nana’s who are going to be wearing many different hats in the coming days: Art teacher, games co-ordinator, spiritual advisor, and therapist.
We got this.
Oh, and please wash your hands.
Judy Kucharuk is a community columnist living in Dawson Creek.