Monday, November 14, 2011

The Rain Bonnet

Yesterday, Laci was poking around yesterday and found a little case.  I opened it up and it was my grandma's old rain bonnet.  The kind from the sixties that were plastic and the older ladies unfolded them and wrapped them around their heads when it rained.  I have no idea how it ended up there.  But it was fun to put on and play with.  We all had a nice laugh.  It is raining pretty hard this morning so Laci wanted to wear it.  I put it on her and told her to be super careful with it.  It suddenly occurred to me how much that silly little rain bonnet reminded me of my grandma.

My grandma was so special to me.  She lived with us when I was growing up and was part of the family.  Charlie found some old home videos that he converted to DVD for my dad recently.  Laci and I watched them Friday night.  One of the videos was the last few years of my grandma's life.  It was so hard to watch them.  I still miss her so much.  But the last few years of her life were so much different than earlier.  She wasn't quite the same.  She couldn't get around as easily and she hear as well.  I didn't meet Charlie's grandma until a few years ago when her dementia had already started.  His grandpa pulled me aside once and said he wished I could have known her when she was younger.  Watching those videos with Laci, I thought the same thing.  I wished I could show her older videos so she could see my grandma the way I remembered her. But Laci loves being called her "great granddaughter".  I think she loves the "great" part.  

Sometimes with Charlie's mom, I think she tries too hard to be the perfect grandma.  She wants to give "perfect" gifts that the kids will love and cherish forever and give to their own children.  She wants to do perfect special activities that the kids will remember and cherish forever and tell stories to their own children.  I have been trying to tell her that the perfect gifts and the perfect memories aren't planned.  They evolve.  I don't remember a single gift my grandmothers gave me.  My special grandma was too old when I was young to shop and pick out gifts.  So her gifts were always toys bought by my mom.  My other grandmother didn't really give us gifts but I always remember the set of personalized pens and pencils she gave us every year with a $10 bill.  My mom loves to buy toys and give lots of gifts.  I have asked her not too give the kids too much because I don't want them too spoiled with toys.  I wish my mom spent more time with the kids just playing and being with them.  My memories of my grandma are the simple things - salmon patties for dinner, making pumpkin bars not only in the fall but the middle of summer, sitting on the porch and chatting and last but not least, her rain bonnet.  I don't know what memories of their grandmothers my children will take into adulthood but I know they will probably be very special to them and the littlest things that were not planned at all.

I just talked to Charlie and Laci wore it to school today.  I'll post a picture of her later.  He mentioned that she got plenty of smiles and chuckles from the other parents and teachers.  Maybe she will be a trendsetters and the old fashioned plastic rain bonnet will make a comeback among the local preschool crowd!

My grandma's "Great" granddaughter - no wind or rain can get to her hair!

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