Do you have a special memory of your grandmother's house? The kitchen perhaps, or the fireplace? Maybe the back yard, or her piano, or the room where you always slept when you visited?
I have lots of great memories of the house where Grandma lived. And dwelling on those memories makes me eager to give my grandchildren the same kind of sweet things to look back on.* But little did I dream that one of those would be....my shower.
Every grandmother has had the experience of having an unexpected "accident" at her house. And most of us grannies have learned to stay prepared with extra diapers, pull-ups, wipes, and plastic bags. (If you don't know what the plastic bags are for, it's been too long since you had a little one around :-) ) But there are times when the caliber of accident outguns every wipe and washcloth you can find, and you need to make use of stronger measures, just this side of a power washer.
Well, at some point granddaughter Abby had one of those. And the only solution was to take her to Granny's shower.
Background: Six years ago when we were building this house, we made a few changes to the floor plan that would allow for my disabled father to be able to stay here a little more easily. One of those changes was a 3 1/2 x 5 foot shower stall, glass on two sides, with room for a stool and plenty of room to turn around with a walker. (Little did we know that he would die before he'd ever get to use it and that I would be the one who would need it instead.)
As it turned out, that shower has had uses never envisioned by its designers. Seems that to a two-year old there's nothing with quite the appeal of a glassed-in stall the size of a small room with WATER in it! Abby forgot that she was being made to take a bath--she was enthralled with the whole experience! And thereafter, nearly every time she came for Family Dinner Night at Granny's House, she begged to take a shower in Granny's shower. That's been roughly 2 1/2 years, and it's still a ritual. She brings her jammies and she gets a fresh towel and her favorite lavender baby lotion out of the closet and takes her shower. She's four now, and little two-year-old brother Sam has also discovered the pleasures of crawling around in the water, squealing with delight, and he too goes home in his jammies. And Granny, feigning slight hesitation about it each time the children beg for their shower, secretly exults in providing these memories for them.
You know, there are some things I do for my children and grandchildren that I've planned with care just because I know they are ripe for being stored away as treasured memories...our annual Cookie Day, egg coloring at Easter, tea parties in bed. But there are some gems that just sneak up on me and end up providing the sweetest memories of all because they are the stuff of ordinary life in an extraordinary place.
Your grandchildren will be coming along before you know it, if they're not already here. You may have already started thinking of special things you want to do with them and that's important. But don't forget that much of the chest of memories you'll give them will be "accidental"--cutting off the crust from a sandwich when their own mother wouldn't dream of doing it...stopping to brush her cheeks with blush and showing her the result...letting him hammer nails with you in the garage...reading the same book for the fifth time tonight. They add up, you know? Someday that little one will tell you about a very special memory she has of her time with you, and I can almost guarantee it'll be one you would never have guessed.
And don't be surprised if it has SOMEthing to do with water.
What's your favorite memory of Grandma/Granny/Nana's house? Share it in the comments!
*For you grammar sticklers, watch this blog for my upcoming post on the prepositions we end sentences with :-)