Monday, March 19, 2007

Grandnieces are Grand!

Gads, what a gloriously busy eight hours of work it was on this rainy, rainy Pacific Northwest day. I think I called 100 clients (possibly more) and wrote for eight of them. That might be a record for one day. The thing is, it wasn't stressful at all. It was all done so quickly, yet peacefully, and with such fun attitudes all the way around! I think I could do another eight hours today, if they were hours like the last eight!

There isn't much to report today and I wasn't quiet long enough during the day to think of a blog topic, so whatever shall I blab about? (Go with what you know, dodo.)

Yesterday I went to my sister Jackie's for dinner (that's a ritual in my family). I went over a couple hours earlier than usual, so I was able to meet niece Wendy and grandniece Jamie Lee in Jackie's back yard and help Jamie "fly" and build a railroad for her to run a train on.

Kids are fascinating and wonderful to watch and to interact with. Jamie is such a sparkler, and has a wild sense of humor for one so young. (Gads, I think she'll be three in May -- already!) She looks for ways to delight those watching her, and finds them. She isn't mean-spirited in the least; even when she's dog-tired she's just tired and kinda weepy and whimpery, not fitful. She is imbued, saturated with joy. She's a very cheerful little girl.

She's so expressive! She cracks me up with some of the sentences she comes out with. I think she has been watching some very funny cartoons or something -- or her nutty extended family. (Her nuclear family is sane; the rest of us on Phil's side are a wee bit weird; had you noticed this quality already as a result of anything I have said or written?) For whatever reason, she is a hoot and a half.

Her older sister Casey was much less expressive and more reserved outwardly at Jamie Lee's age; I always thought she might become a little timid. But she has outgrown that stage and she and her older cousin Lizzie (the acrobat, age eight) take turns singing, dancing and presenting puppet shows for us.

Lizzie is a real sparkler, too -- she isn't intimidated by being on a stage. She begged me to help "set up" on the stage at a TREK convention in Seattle a couple years ago. She wanted her 15 seconds of fame, so I made sure she received some applause as she left the stage.

That was a funny day for Lizzie. She had never seen STAR TREK (her mom thinks it's a bad influence, and the newer ones are, I think, for one as young as she still is) so when she entered the convention hotel and saw all the Klingons, Andorians and Ferengis, it was the first time I saw her speechless and looking a little shy! But she saw me walking right by all the aliens and nodding to them and smiling, so it didn't take her long to figure out this must be something like a grown-up Halloween party, and she dropped her uncustomary reticence and decided to accompany me onstage afterward!

Casey was so fluent and well-spoken at a young age it almost scared us! She was at the Dollar Store once, still at an age where she was riding in the shopping cart (so not quite two). They were there to find her Poppa (granddad) a birthday present and she had been given a dollar to find something for him. At first she picked up some item and said, "This is what I will give Poppa." Jackie agreed it was a fine choice and continued to move through the store pushing the shopping cart with Casey in it.

Suddenly Casey said, "Please stop!" and reached out to pick up a mug she thought Poppa might like better. Jackie said, "Just one gift, Casey. Let's put the mug back." Casey shook her head and said (I am not making this up!), "I have been considering and considering -- and I have made a better decision."

WOW! She got the mug for her Poppa! Jackie looked at her thinking, "Are you related to me? What planet are you from, little one?" Considering... decision... Those are twenty dollar words for one so young!

Or so we thought. Casey was Jackie's second grandchild (would have been Jackie's third but one of her grandchildren, Samantha, only lived a couple of days, sadly, and never left the hospital)... and all of them have quite amazing vocabularies. I would LOVE to take some of the credit, wordsmith that I am, but I haven't been back up here long enough to have rubbed off on the older ones in time to give them their gift of gab. Bummer!

This Christmas, since I was running on fumes financially, I decided to write each of the grandnieces their own story, with them as the main character in it. (Jamie got an alphabet book, so hers was the only one without a plot. It was about animals and it rhymed.) They loved the books. I hope this doesn't mean they'll expect books next year... I'm not a children's author... but for my sister's grandchildren, well... I'll make an exception. Next year if I write one, it will just be ONE for all four of them. The Chronicles of Blarneya or something... (Now, don't anybody go stealing my title!)


Anonymous said...

Grand Auntie's are pretty grand themselves. Just so you know the books you wrote the girls will be read for years to come. They loved being the story. Isn't it amazing that 4 little girls have such different personalities? It just cracks me up. Each one of them brings something different to our family. Lovin' your blog....


Kristine M Smith said...


Thanks, darling Dawn! (Dawn is one of my nieces -- can you tell?)

Nobody "butters up" better than Dawn! Methinks she could sell ice cubes to Eskimoes. (With global warming, this may no longer sound as hard to do as it was in the past!)