Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Slippin' Granma Have

Emo asked me last night as I was tucking her into bed...
"Moma, when do I have to give up my 'granma have'?"
Her "Granma have" is a well worn gingham pastel...used-to-be-soft-blankie that Grandma Lorena (Joe's mom) made for her first birthday. It was quickly Emily's favorite blankie to snuggle and sleep with. Always slow to wake up in the morning, she would come wild-haired and squinty-eyed out of her room in the morning and say, "Nuggle you". We would, when time allowed, sit snuggling on the corner of the sofa for at least a half hour. I remember smelling her sweet morning smell like it was yesterday. Those were the days before she announced she was too grown up for the Wiggles and opted instead for Hannah Montana...
When she'd had her fill of comfort, she would eventually get awake and slip off my lap to sing and dance to "cold spaghetti-cold spaghetti" and "fruit salad..yummy-yummy". I could, then, move on...
Her love of her Granma have was cemented one morning...she was clearly not happy, and kept saying something that was unintelligible. I knew somehow she wanted a blanket, but each one offered was adamantly refused after it failed a texture test with little fingers rubbing the fabric together.
"No, no....damma hab"
Finally, in my foggy morning brain, something clicked...sounds like she's saying "granma have".
"Emily, do you want the blanket Grandma gave you?"
"un-huh...damma-hab" And I'm quite sure in her little 1-1/2 year old little brain, she was questioning God's Sovereignty...for what will probably be only one of many times..."Father, are you sure you meant for me to live with these people?"
The aforementioned, ever to be dubbed "Granma Have" was accepted. It passed the "slipping" test of rubbing the fabric together. We've had lots of conversations about "slipping" in our house since. There is a whole science to the way the fabric feels, the way it slides against itself as she rubs it between her thumb and 1st and 2nd fingers. It even has to pass a "sound check" as she places it next to her ear as she slips.
Last night, continuing our bedtime conversation, I asked her why she wanted to know when she had to give it up.
She said, "I was telling a girl at Chic-fi-la about my granma have....and she asked me when I was going to give it up."
I was dare some little stranger challenge my child's coping mechanisms. I tried to remain neutral and open.
"Did she make you feel bad about still having a granma have?"
"Well, she smiled at me funny and then went to tell her mom..."
"oh, well..." I paused to see if she revealed anything else..."I think it's fine for you to use grandma have, you only use it at bedtime and in the morning". Thinking to myself, it's not like she's seven and dragging a blanket from pillar to post.
"and when I get scared, like during storms..." I nodded.
"yeah, I think it's neat you have something that helps make you feel better when you're scared and I don't think you should worry about when to give it'll know when you don't need it anymore"
I was sort of wishing I had a grandma have. It seems a lot better than some of the coping mechanisms we adults come up with: food, cigarettes, alcohol, shopping, anger, bitterness, disengaging ourselves...
she nodded, "I love you, mommy"
"I love you too, good night..."
"Good-night....what-are-we-gonna-do-tomorrow?" I sigh...another aspect of her personality that I relate to quite well. She's been asking that question since she could talk...gotta know the plan...gotta have some control...and when the plan is unknown or control is out of reach, the granma have is there...for now.

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