Friday, July 18, 2014
My Second Granddaughter.
Everyone in the family says that my second granddaughter has the biggest heart they have ever seen. She is the one who is ready to take care of anyone who needs something. She finds satisfaction in assisting.
One day my daughter-in-law had stopped by for a visit. My granddaughter offered to make her a submarine sandwich. She asked which kind of meats she preferred, did she want lettuce and tomato, a little mayonnaise? Something to drink? My daughter-in-law ordered water. With or without ice? With? Would you prefer cubes or crushed ice? What a character.
My granddaughter had a problem with her stomach when she was a baby. A lot of what she took in came back up. It was determined that she has a problem with milk and other dairy products. It is extremely difficult to feed a child who cannot have milk. She has become a little less sensitive as she grows up but, like her mother, she still does not drink milk.
One day I had my granddaughter and her brother. We had been exploring parks in the neighborhood. We tried to use every one we could find at one time or another. The children were hungry and so was Grandma. We stopped by a fast food place and I ordered kids meals for each of them. To drink I asked for a milkshake for each.
My granddaughter usually had a soft drink because of her dairy problem. When she got her shake she was amazed. She had "ice cream pop!" She thoroughly enjoyed it and promptly threw it all up when we got home.
Also like her mother, my granddaughter loves animals... any and all animals. If those two had their way their house would be filled with every imaginable kind of pet. As it is they have had birds, dogs, fish, gerbils hamsters, hermit crabs, turtles... well you get the idea. She would dearly love a cat but her father hates cats and will not allow it.
One of my sons likes to hike and take pictures. For a long time my granddaughter would go with him. She had her own camera so she could take her own pictures. Off they would go and when they came back often they would have some fantastic pictures of animals.
Once when they were out my son came back laughing. They had spotted a rabbit. As they were focusing to get pictures it began to hop away. My granddaughter gave chase in a stealthy way. Every time she would get close off the rabbit would go.
My son had a fun time just watching. Then the rabbit hopped into tall grass. My granddaughter was right on its tail, so to speak. But my son stopped her. She kept trying to assure him that she could catch it... she knew how... she promised... she could do it.
He did stop her. He was laughing because all he could picture in his mind that she would chase that rabbit and fall down a hole into Wonderland. Stories of Little Alice were born because of her exploits on those hikes.
Like all of my grandchildren my granddaughter was encouraged to take up some sort of sporting activity. She loved soccer. Unfortunately she is just not athletically inclined.
Just watching her run is a joy. Somehow she sort of propels her stomach forward and follows it. I do not know how else to describe it.
But she tried her best and became moderately proficient. She really liked playing goalie. She excelled there. But goalie was a position that the coaches liked to rotate even though most of the players did not want to be goalie.
The first year she played I was at a game. She had been called off the field and replaced by another player. She stood on the sidelines next to her coach. As the coach was issuing instructions to the field my granddaughter was right there issuing the same instructions. Perhaps her forte is coaching.
My daughter's children rode the school bus to school. Their district was on a strict budget and apparently decided that the buses were a good place to cut costs. They were not allowing for enough seats to accommodate the number of children riding. Often my granddaughter would get on the bus and there was no place for her to sit.
The driver was unsympathetic. She did not care that 1) each child should have a place to sit to be safe, 2) my granddaughter had her arms full of books, lunch and her musical instrument, or 3) that it was always the children at the last stops that had no seats. She was paid to drive and that was it.
My granddaughter's parents went to work. They called the school but it did no good. Finally they had to go to the school and speak to the principal. The principal agreed that no child should be standing in the bus as it is moving and he would speak to the bus driver. Whew!
The bus driver had a solution. She would not move until each child was seated. Some would have to sit in the floor. Again a trip to the school. The new solution was that the driver threw a tantrum and reserved a seat for my granddaughter. (That'll fix her!) What other parents did I do not know but eventually there were more buses used in the district so that each child could sit safely on a seat.
One of the things they were advocating at school was to help those less fortunate. To that end my granddaughter's class spent time with children in another class. One little girl in that class was autistic. She took a real liking to my granddaughter and my granddaughter liked her back.
The little girl explained many things about how she was treated by other children and how she felt about it. They remained friendly even after the class for understanding was finished.
I ran into a woman I worked with one day when my granddaughter and I were out shopping. The woman had her son with her and I introduced them both to my granddaughter. The son was about 16 years old then and my granddaughter was 10 or 11. He was so proud of the airplane he was going to buy.
My granddaughter told me later that she recognized that he was autistic because he had many of the same mannerisms as her friend. I was so pleased that she was so kind to him and my friend.
Another class at school required them to learn a musical instrument. The first semester she played the clarinet. She really enjoyed it. Then the next semester she played the violin. They told her that if she wanted to pursue the clarinet she could go back to that when the semester was over.
She actually liked the violin better so she kept taking lessons at school. When it became obvious that she was going to continue to play her other grandmother bought her a violin for Christmas. It was beautiful and they are so expensive.
Playing began in grade school. Now that she is in high school she needed not only a bigger violin but one of better quality than her grandmother bought. She got it for Christmas last year.
This summer she finally got to go to the camp for children interested in music. She has been wanting to go for a long time. There are instructors there who can teach her techniques that she does not know. They also spend a portion of each day playing music together.
The year my granddaughter was born I saw that one of the schools was offering an outing to go see the Irish Rovers. I wanted to go because I had never seen them perform. The problem was that my daughter was due to have her baby about that time and I needed to be there to care for my grandson. No Irish Rovers that year.
Then when my granddaughter was about 5 years old I saw an advertisement in the news that the Irish Rovers were performing. My grandchildren were spending the weekend with me. I was complaining to my son how much I would like to go see them.
He saw no problem. I explained that I would not have any fun by myself. None of my friends wanted to go with me and none of my children wanted to go with me. Poor me.
My sweet granddaughter looked up and said, "I will go with you, Grandma." I asked her if she was sure she wanted to go. she said she was. So I checked to make sure her parents did not mind and I bought the tickets.
We made a night of it. My grandson spent the evening with my son and they had a good time. My granddaughter and I went out to dinner and then to the concert.
Our seats were not great because I did not know about the concert soon enough to get good ones but we could see and hear everything. She just sat and glowed throughout the performance.
The Irish Rovers sing and tell jokes. My granddaughter (like all the rest of the females in the family) loves someone who makes her laugh. And she was in love. The man sitting on the other side of her had as much fun watching her as I did.
At intermission the group said that when the concert was over they would "have a bit of tea" with anyone who wanted to remain. Of course she wanted to stay. I explained that they were simply going to sign autographs but that was good enough for her.
After that year we went every year. It was a special outing for the two of us. Last year was the last year of touring for the Irish Rovers. I have moved too far away from my granddaughter to be able to go with her but her mother took her... twice.
They have always been so nice to her, commenting on her Irish attire, "squiggling" the top of her head as they walked by, and talking to her just like everyone else. This year they did not allow people to take pictures because they had a professional photographer to record their final performances.
The photographer noticed my granddaughter in all her greenery and asked if he could take a few pictures. The answer was of course. Then he found out that they were returning the following night. And my granddaughter was bringing her violin for the group to autograph as they had requested she do.
So the next night he asked if my granddaughter and her mother could wait until everyone else had their autographs so he could take pictures of them with the autographed violin. They did and he did and their photos were published on the Irish Rovers Facebook page. What a marvelous experience for a little girl (who is not so little any more).
My granddaughter has a couple more years of high school. Then on to college. I am not sure she has decided what to do with her life but I am sure she will do it with love from that big heart of hers.