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Sunday, June 14, 2015

On blossoming


Over the years I’ve kept some or more of my grandchildren during summers. It’s what grandmothers do. They generally hung out here at Cousin Camp, or I enrolled them en masse in some activity.

Last summer I reevaluated what to do with the two girls, both with strong personalities; the older unwilling to relinquish her perceived authority as the bigger sister, and the younger straining against domination. I split them up.

Laura went to acting camp, started art lessons, went to archery camp (which we both voted a complete bust) and rounded out her summer with band camp. All within a ten mile radius of home! Drama camp is immediately after the close of school. I was not delivered the same little girl I dropped off. She spoke up. She enunciated. She was animated.  It was the prelude to a new movement, and the curtain is nowhere near dropping.

Mrs. P showed her how to draw what she saw and imagined, and she went from sketch pads of cartoon foxes to a real portfolio. Laura channeled her borderline obsessive compulsive tendencies into a nightly half hour of disciplined trumpet practice, and became the only seventh grader in jazz band. She still cares about her sister’s opinion of her nail polish, but not of her friends.




I’m smiling broadly today. Laura only asked twice today when we would leave for acting camp. I didn’t bother to take my camera, or even pull out my phone. I probably don’t embarrass her, but why push it. She did let me carry her pillow, but managed the big duffel bag and sleeping bag through check in and lice check.

She tried to dismiss me outside the dormitory, but I held tight to the pillow and trailed on in. We met the room leader, I traded the pillow for a hug and she didn’t look back. I drove home with the windows down, smelling the damp green and the blossoming trees. Laura will have a very good week, and be a match for whatever part she lands.



16 comments:

  1. Sounds like Laura is developing into her authentic self. This is so valuable and great that she is doing at a young age. Just so long as it doesn't veer too far into doing everything her way and take a path of rebellion. I know from all your writings that you are doing your absolute best to teach these girls a good path. I also know from personal experience just how difficult it is to raise strong willed and rebellious children and teens. You have to be very strong yourself and I know you are. My mom was in the same category. Not too many people like the two of you. Keep up the awesome work. xx

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  2. Huge smiles.
    Every body should have a you in their life, to help them grow into the people they are meant to become.

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  3. Hari OM
    Smilin' with ya!!! It's like watching the garden blossom... YAM xx

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  4. You are very good at this grandparent thing!

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  5. Laura is really getting a rounded exposure to the arts. Marvelous. And what is her sister doing?

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    1. Some art lessons for her, too, and working.

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  6. That's wonderful, she certainly gained a lot from her summer. Home she enjoys the drama again.

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  7. How wonderful to see the maturing and blossoming of your granddaughter.

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  8. Laura does indeed seem to be blossoming! Wise maneuver on your part to separate the girls with their activities to have them be able to shine on their own in their own talents. I do imagine Laura will enjoy band camp so very much!

    betty

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  9. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! These camps are so good for the girls' self esteem and confidence.

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  10. A drama class can work wonders. My daughter joined a weekly class when she was 7 and loved it. She stayed until she was too old for it 11 years later.

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  11. You really are the best granny ever Joanne. They will look back on their childhood with you and marvel at it.

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  12. That is simply wonderful. I am glad she has such great outlets for her talent and energy.

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  13. So exciting, watching her change before your eyes. You are a perceptive (and enterprising) grandmother to have found these wonderful outlets to broaden her world.

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  14. Laura is blossoming into who she is and she has you to thank for it, giving her all the support and opportunity she needs and wants. Very exciting to see her bloom. This right here is reward enough I should think for your sacrifice taking on the kids full time.

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  15. Just by them keeping busy keeps us busy, doesn't it? Hope you find some time for yourself!

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