As shared in The Joys of Nana Days (https://jfhandy.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/2012-12-28-the-joys-of-nana-days/) , one of the greatest pleasures in my life comes from my monthly Nana Day with Lauren, where I take a day off from work and spend the entire day with Lauren (now 3 ½ years old.) Today was no exception and it was made even nicer by the fact that was a perfect Spring day—full of abundant sunshine and love.
The day started off on an unbelievably high note as when I picked her up at 8 AM she was wearing a shirt that read “I Love My Nana”. How totally awesome is that? We then began our busy day with breakfast at I-Hop followed by a trip to Nana’s Park (really named Laurel Park in Marietta but Lauren does not need to know that yet!!)
They have a large sand volleyball court and we call that our Sand Park. She was laughing and running….. filled with excitement. Within minutes, we were making sand castles and creating other sand creations. Before we left, we also went to the playground and walked around the pond watching the ducks.
We chose a new restaurant today for our lunch outing (and the term “restaurant” is probably loosely used). We went to Stevie B’s Pizza which is a buffet pizza/salad bar place complete with a game area and many different kinds of pizza.
Did you know there is a Mac and Cheese Pizza? Well, there is and it made for the perfect 2nd pizza slice to go along with Lauren’s Cheese Pizza slice. (Do you see a pattern?) Nana behaved and had salad from the salad bar but I will confess to having a bite of her cheese pizza and to my surprise, it was very tasty.
Due to the abundant sunshine and warm temperatures, we stopped by my neighborhood pool on the way home and sat on the side of the pool and splashed our feet in the water.
She would run around the pool—making footprints on the pavement with her small wet feet and laughing and skipping. We splashed each other and poured water on each other………. we watched the clouds and her joy was contagious.
At that point, it was time for us to go back home………. have some Teddy Grahams (our traditional snack) and we BOTH needed the nap. Our post nap time together (of which was not a lot of time) involved playing with “The City” that I have made for her …….. spending a few more minutes at the pool splashing our feet in the water and we ended the day with dinner at Gabriel’s Desserts owned by Johnnie Gabriel.
As Johnnie often drops by our table and says hi, we call the restaurant Ms. Johnnie’s and once again, she was there and greeted us. They have examples of cakes that they can make sitting on a counter and Lauren was quite taken with the castle cake and the cupcake cake (see picture at the end.) We of course had to pick out a few cookies and a brownie to take home to Mommy and Daddy as well as a pink cake pop for Lauren.
I consider myself to be blessed beyond belief to have these small opportunities to build memories and a relationship with my granddaughter. I am always looking for lessons to teach her and ways to cement important messages and today was no exception.
As we were walking across one of the parking lots, there was a loud truck that came by. She became nervous and I held her hand and I looked at her and told her “Lauren, when you hold Nana’s hand, you are strong and we are strong (and I squeezed her hand). Feel the strength and always know that when you hold my hand, or your Daddy’s hand or your Mommy’s hand, we are strong.”
So the rest of the day, when we held hands, we would repeat “we are strong together” …. and we would squeeze our hands and I would remind her that nothing would hurt her when I held her hand.
To learn to be strong…. To learn how to have courage …… those will be a some of the lessons I want to teach her… it was a lesson that I did not learn until I was 59 years old but I will help her learn it and believe it at a much earlier age ……….. as knowing that you are strong gives you courage to deal with whatever challenges you may face. I have learned that from personal experience.
“Hold my hand…. We are strong together.”