Dormez Vous? Dormez Vous?

“Mothers couldn’t be everywhere. That’s why God created Grandmothers.”  I love this saying. I found it on a plaque once and gave it to my own grandmother. It made her cry. It was especially true in her case. My grandmother did step in for my mom for a time when I was very young and she remained really dear and special to me. I miss her very much, but I’m grateful for the many years of wonderful memories I have of her.

I am blessed with four step grandchildren myself now and I want to be the kind of grandma (or Nana in my case) that she was, or at least as close as I can get to it. My own grandmother was full of fun and adventure when she was with me and I want to be like that with the next generation for as long as I can.

Now that my son has grown and moved on I realize, to my shock, how fast his childhood fled by and so as grandparents John and I want to s-l-o-w it down and enjoy every second. We just spent the long weekend here at our place with 3 of our kids and their friends/spouses, and 4 grand kids. The weather wasn’t ideal but we still had a lot of fun together. We all get together every year on the Canada Day long weekend and I love that it has become “our” time. Blow up beds and foamies everywhere; chip crumbs and ice cream drips on the floor. It doesn’t get any better!

For those few days our usual quiet routine was interrupted by the sound of a little one singing Frère Jacques and Itsy Bitsy Spider over and over and over, the adolescent squeaks of a boy-voice-changing to-a-man-voice, doors constantly opening and closing, the boom of gun fire from video games, and laughter…lots and lots of laughter. And we loved every second of it!

As I write this I’m surrounded by pictures of my family and it makes my heart swell. I can’t believe how lucky I am. Once I’ve swept and washed the sticky floor, washed the eight loads of sheets and towels that wait for me, had a nap, ordered out for dinner and put my feet up…I’m really going to miss everyone.

In a day or two I’ll probably even stop hearing these words repeating in my head:

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques, Dormez vous? Dormez vous? Sonnez les matines, Sonnez les matines, Ding, dang, dong! Ding, dang, dong!

I understand why my grandma had to have a nap everyday now. Dormez vous? Soon, little one, soon.

Cherish the moments everyone!

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What Do You Call A…

Bonnie Johnson's PostThere should be another word for “step-mother”.  Step-mothers are usually portrayed as evil in fairy tales and movies and the word “mother” is too sacred on its own.  When you throw the word “step” in front of it the whole meaning changes.  Damn whoever wrote Cinderella!evil step mother

I’m a step-mother to three adults, one of whom is only ten years my junior.  So uttering the word “mother” as part of my title is not only uncomfortable but really just sounds wrong too. The oldest is married to a wonderful woman whom I’ve become very close to.  It gets awkward when I try to introduce her to others though. “This is my step-daughter-in-law” is a mouthful.  Sometimes I leave off the word step for fun but then I get those funny sideway glances of confusion.  My step-daughter-in-law, by the way, is also a step-mother to one of my step-grandchildren.  Confused? Welcome to the modern family.

I came on the scene after my husband;s children were all grown up and living away from home.  They’d had a few years to get used to their parents divorce and had seen their dad “dating” before.  I wasn’t a home wrecker and I’m grateful for the timing.  It allowed my relationship with his children to start on solid ground.  I remember being pleasantly surprised by the natural affection I had for his three kids right from the start.  I realize it was mostly because they are all such kind and accepting people but a part of the reason came from being in love with their dad. They are, after all, a very big part of him.

Most important to me was that my own son would be accepted as part of the family.  I didn’t need to worry.  Over the years my husband’s kids have developed their own strong relationship with James and there is no doubt that we are all family now.

I feel so blessed to be a part of a large diverse family like ours and excited that it is growing 😉 as I write this.  Yes, there is a new baby on the way!

It’s just the titles I struggle with.  My step-grand kids call me “Bonnie” and I guess that’s ok, but I wish there was a more intimate title to describe what I am to them.  I just don’t know about being called “Bonnie” to this new baby. “Grandma Bon?” But is it ok to change it up with one child when the others are used to another name? If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

I guess the relationship we share matters more than what we call it.  As the years go by I feel more and more “related” to these special people and I’m so grateful to have them all in my life.

Bonnie

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