Goodnight called me and left a voice message. She was crying. That’s not usually a good sign.
“Please call me as soon as you can, Grammy.”
She had broken something – a very new and expensive something – and was beside herself with grief. What she broke isn’t the point of this post.
How to respond?
I’m not claiming to be the best parent/grandparent/legal guardian. In fact, I’ve made some laughable mistakes, but I am raising my granddaughter because my daughter asked me to do so before she died. I am reminded of that with every decision I have to make regarding GN.
I decided that her trust and dignity are more important to me than any feeling of relief I would attain by venting at her for her carelessness. Besides, she’s old enough to scold herself, and probably gave herself a hard enough time before she even called me.
I told her to take a deep breath, make herself some tea, and write a brief note to herself about the lesson she learned.
The panic and grief in her voice dissolved quickly into mere disappointment, but with enough hope to get her through her day. Life goes on, Gram’s not gonna scream, and a lesson was learned. Most of all, GN will continue to call me or speak with me the next time something happens, rather than hide it or hold it in.
The lesson she wrote down for herself may last a while, but I hope her dignity and her ability to trust me last much longer.
Then, I told her about the Fenton Hobnail Milk Glass Cake Stand I dropped the moment I walked out of the antique store where I purchased it.