Shannon lives 150 miles away. She was just barely six years old when she stayed with us during the week leading up to Christmas. Her mom, our daughter, had just had her 3rd baby so hubby and I thought we’d give said daughter a break by taking her hyper-chatty oldest daughter home with us.

To our amazement there were no tears of homesickness — at least not from Shannon. She takes life as it comes with all the curiosity and sense of adventure a six-year old can possess. We knew what to expect from her. Early morning wakings. Perpetual motion from arising until going to bed for the night. Even during sleep we couldn’t count on the motion to cease.

During the fourth night, when I went into her room to check on her, I discovered it was all cleaned up. It was a mess when she went to bed and I had charged her with the task of tidying it up in the morning. Apparently not able to sleep with work left undone she quietly went about picking up all her clothes and toys. Clothes, dirty or clean, went in their proper places. Toys however were completely rearranged. Trucks previously stored under the bed were moved to the shelves, baskets of toys from the shelves were stored under the bed. The stuffed animals from a large basket were placed in a big cardboard box and my books, in want of a bookcase, were in the basket. (I had told her two days earlier that I couldn’t put the books in the cardboard box because the box would become too heavy for me to lift. She must have remembered my reasoning when she chose the basket for my books.)

I marveled at her ability, at six years and one week of age, to think through the problems organizing her room presented and come up with credible solutions.

Shannon wouldn’t be a normal young child if she never got homesick during her stay,but her meltdowns were mild and brief and usually the result of getting scolded for a transgression or being denied something she wanted to do. Then the tearful request to call her mom would come. Suspecting that her distress had more to do with a dislike of her present circumstances and not a true sense of homesickness I would find a way to distract her with a book or toy, or make a funny face to cause her to laugh. The tears would disappear and the sunshine in her eyes would return.

On the second to the last night at our home our young granddaughter asked me to cuddle with her by lying next to her on the bed as she settled down to sleep. I couldn’t refuse. What a fine chance to snuggle and talk about those things that were important to her. Refusing to admit that she was sleepy or tired, she was willing to acknowledge that her toes were tired, her knees were tired, and her ears, neck and eyes were tired. Her mouth, however, was not tired she said as she giggled. No surprise there!

The subject of her mom came up and Shannon said she missed her. “Why do you miss her,” I asked?

“Because I love her,” she answered.

“Do you love me?”

“I love you Nonni, but I love Mommy most,” Shannon replied.

Knowing that her feelings for her mom were natural, I nevertheless asked why she loved her Mommy most and if she didn’t love me, her Nonni, just as much.

“I love Mommy most because I don’t see you very much, Nonni.”

It was true. Because of the cost of traveling we hadn’t seen each other very often in the past year and I missed spending time with her. She didn’t even realize she had expressed a natural trait of being human. Relationships require close proximity and time spent together to maintain a strong feeling of closeness and love.

As I left her room I pondered Shannon’s words. How wise.


About torimcrae

Tori is a good writer aspiring to be a great writer. The mother of four adult kids she is currently pursuing postponed dreams. She enjoys her grandkids, traveling with hubby, spinning fiber, weaving, and raising Shih Tzus. Currently Tori posts to this blog on Mondays and Fridays.
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  1. “Relationships require close proximity and time spent together to maintain a strong feeling of closeness and love.” How very true.

    • torimcrae says:

      Rosalie, Thanks for stopping by my blog site and leaving a comment. I hope you’ll be back. I checked out your blog and it’s wonderful. I see that, like me, you’re a fairly new blogger (at least at wordpress). If you want to know some of the things I’ve learned to attract more visits to your site send me an e-mail with how to contact you. If you can’t find my contact info leave a comment & I’ll help you find it.

  2. Laura Best says:

    This is a lovely post, Tori. Time spent with our grandchildren is very precious indeed. Our granddaughter is two. We don’t see her as often as we’d like to, but she comes for week long visits with her mom whenever they get the chance.

    • torimcrae says:

      Laura, I certainly know what you mean about time with grandchildren. The post was about a visit at Christmas and we’ve only seen Shannon a few times since then. I’m happy & excited that she is coming this weekend for Father’s Day and will be spending the following week with us. I’ve been preparing for her visit for months, before I even knew she would be here. I love these solo visits with her because I can focus on her without the distraction of taking care of the rest of her family. I love my daughter & Shannon’s sisters but they take a lot of time and attention. I hope the times with your granddaughter are frequent and fulfilling.

      I checked out your blog and liked it so well that I subscribed to it. I hope I’ll see you back here at mine, too.

  3. Hi Tori
    Yes, this style of frequent blog is a new venture but my old website is still ‘out there’ dating back to when you virtually had to write all the HTML code from scratch. Bits have been updated using different tools that became available from time to time so the whole thing is a bit like one of those rag bag patchwork quilts.
    Thanks for your kind comments. Life’s very hectic just at present but I’ll be in touch.
    Together with Laura’s comments, you remind me of the precious times I spent with my Grandmother away from the rest of the family. Not having to compete for attention, I think, was a great treat.


    • torimcrae says:

      I never had the honor of spending time alone with my grandmother, but my daughters spent weekends alone with my mom and to this day they still remember and treasure those times. I look forward to making memories with “my girls.” I talk more about them in my post today. It’s going to be a big weekend. Tori


  4. books494 says:

    your granddaughter has a really good relationship with her Mom. we take this for granted but she’s got a whole heap of self confidence going. Should feel good to have her around!

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