Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The Story Where Everyone Hates Nana
The granddaughters were the flower girls in their aunt’s wedding. They had beautiful dresses and wreaths of flowers in their long blond hair. They were picture perfect. They each carried a basket of petals down the long aisle and only remembered to throw them when they reached the alter.
My job at the wedding was flower girl wrangler. I managed to get them bathed and to the church on time and keep them clean and out of the baptismal font before the start of the ceremony. (Although later we wondered if we should have let Hunter take a dip to drive the demons out.) From my seat in the fourth row I watched them walk slowly down the aisle and whispered to them as they passed me “Throw the flowers, throw the flowers!”
At the reception they roamed with a small pack of children and I watched to make sure they didn’t get too wild. We enjoyed the buffet and they managed to finish the meal, complete with beverage, without a spill. They had been remarkably well-behaved throughout the event, but we knew not to push our luck. We had decided to take the children home after dinner, and after a long exciting day, get them to bed at their regular bedtime. Nana would stay with the kids and their parents could enjoy the drinks and dancing at the reception with their friends and family.
Implementation of the plan was going just fine until the girls realized that Mommy wasn’t with us in the car. Daddy, who hadn’t made even one visit to the open bar so he could drive us home, was in the driver’s seat, but Nana was sitting in Mommy’ s place. As we left the parking lot the wails started.
“I want my mommy!”
“I want my mom…mom….mom…eeeee!”
Calm explanations by Daddy and Nana were having no effect. It was obviously all Nana’s fault that Mommy was absent. Soon a new chant filled the car.
“I hate Nana.”
I hate Nana; I want my mom…mom…eeee.”
Two high pitched, wailing voices chanted the whole way home, “I hate Nannn……nnnnnna!”
At the house Hunter threw herself on the floor screaming for her mother. Picture a red-faced cherub in a pool of ivory organza with tears streaming down her face. Her sister kept up the chorus wailing “I hate Nana.”
I told my son in law to go. “They’ll be fine.” I said “They’re just tired.” And I crossed my fingers that it was true.
With one uncertain look back at me he left. Two minutes later I turned on a video of Cinderella, changed them into jammies, and fed them a snack. The wailing ceased and they snuggled with me on the couch to watch the movie. I called their parents to report that all was fine.
At 8:30 we were snug in bed reading bedtime stories. Hunter dozed off before we finished the second book. As I cuddled with Megan she said “I love you Nana.” And I resisted the urge to tell her “That’s not what you said earlier!”
That’s the thing about family. We aren’t always kind, but in the end we really do love each other.
I'm grateful for family...even the ones who hate me!