December 2009--Stella at 19 months
Today is our youngest grandaughter Stella's birthday #6. The older she becomes, the more I see Stella exhibiting some of the same attitudes and behaviors that characterized Annette, my late mother.
- My mother was a master at recognizing and savoring every drop of joy in the moment. Stella, too, is totally in the moment.
If, however, something about that moment is not to her liking, she may become certain the end of civilization has arrived and she exhibits her angst appropriately for the occasion.
I suspect she is already growing in her ability to handle disappointment. My mother as the adult I knew was not at all inclined to drama. But from tiny toddler to four years old, her tantrums were legendary, according to family stories.
She would get so mad that she would butt her head on the floor, the ground or whatever surface happened to be under her.
Homespun cures for tantrums failed to faze the determined little Annette. And she did not even need an audience to "throw a fit." One day her mother had finished the dishes and was preparing to empty the dishwater at the base of the fig tree near the kitchen door.
Glancing out the window she saw four-year-old Annette throwing a doozy of a tantrum, already in the head-butting stage. In a moment an extremely exasperated mother changed the target for the dishwater.
She tossed the dishwater and promptly stepped back where she could observe any reaction unseen by her daughter. The dirty dishwater hit the tantrum pause button as it drenched an enraged Annette's head and shoulders.
The suddenly quiet little girl stilled. She slowly raised to her knees and peered around her. She gazed up. She looked around again. No one was around; no rain clouds were above.There was no hint as to the cause of the mysterious deluge.
That was Annette's final tantrum.
Here are some other traits that I have seen in Stella that were fully matured in her late great-grandmother Annette:
- creating fun out of thin air;
-observing with enthusiasm the world around her, especially people and animals;
- keen recognition of, concern for and taking action to meet the needs of others; and
-subtle, sly, persistent--but never, in my experience, mean--teasing.
Getting to watch children grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is truly one of the gifts that comes with being a grandparent,
February 2014—Frank and Stella
Happy birthday, Stella!