Tag Archives: love

don’t send dayna to bed.

I was going through some old files of mine, and tucked in behind a cluster of newspaper clippings was a folded up, handwritten note on yellowed paper. This little note turned out to be an instructional letter from my ‘Boppa’ – my mom’s dad. I didn’t know Boppa too well, he passed when I was about 9 years old, but from what I hear, he got a real kick out of spending time with me when I was little. boppaSo, without further ado, I present his words of advice to you.

Instructions for the Raising and Nurturing of His Granddaughter

B.L. Smyth

Parents are a necessary evil and do have a place in things, once they find out where exactly that place is.

Once people discover that they are going to be parents, they get all upset and excited and do all sorts of crazy things.

First of all, they usually enroll in a school run by Old Maids and Bachelors who will teach them all they need to know about the raising of a child. All they ever get out of this is arms full of pamphlets full of gobbledegook.

That’s why all babies should be handed over to their grandparents immediately after birth; after all, who has had more experience in the successful raising of a child. Look at the grandparents’ beautiful daughter who married far below her station in life, or their brilliant son who some trollop caught in one of his weaker moments and they married.

Parents have been brainwashed into believing that they must be firm with their child and not give in to its every wish or whim, and above all must never be picked up when crying and must be fed only on a rigidly kept schedule. That is mistake #1. When my grandchild cries, I want her to be picked up and cuddled and comforted and if she wakes up between feedings it’s because she’s hungry damnit, so feed her. I want none of this balderdash ‘Now Gramma or Grampa WE don’t pick her up every time she fusses, you know the child psychologists say this is very bad for her GENES.’ I tell you, I don’t give a hoot about her genes because it will be years before she’s interested in the male gender, be it Gene, George or Jack.

I don’t want you to ever think that she won’t be smart, because as she grows into a toddler I can see the battles coming should her Grandma and I pay you a visit….Because when Dayna and I arrive home 5 minutes before supper and she doesn’t want to eat her peas and creamed broccoli and all those other delicious terrible vegetables and you find out that she and her grandfather – while on a short walk – stopped in for a hamburger and French fries with lots of gravy, fresh berry pie with ice cream and a chocolate malt just to keep us going until supper. It wasn’t our fault, see, the afternoon just went by so fast and after all, wasn’t our choice of food much more appetizing than all those delicious (???) vegetables and creamed chicken? So if you must get mad, don’t send Dayna to bed, send me.

In fact, the more I think about this, I think I will contact all grandparents and start a lobby supporting all the above.

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love you forever.

Many years ago, someone gave me a letter that, at the time, I didn’t realize would leave such an imprint on my life. In May 2002, my mother was almost killed in a highway collision. She was left brain injured, and a changed person. January 1, 2003, I discovered I was pregnant (Oh!). Between pregnancy and family and work and stress and life at the tender age of 26, I wasn’t tuned into much else.

When I was eight months pregnant, someone gifted me the infamous ‘Love You Forever’ story by Robert Munsch. This book is found in the children’s section, but it sets off waterworks regardless of age, race, color, creed or hormone levels. A coworker had asked to read it. He was a quiet person, but very genuine, kind and…I suppose I would say profound. I received this letter from him, written on the backside of a patient medication chart, a few days later.

“Dayna – thanks for the opportunity to read this book. It is a beautiful story, and, due to the situation I find myself in currently, it touched me on several levels. It is beautiful to see and be a part of the great river of love that flows endlessly from one generation to the next, etc., without skipping a beat, from one heart to the next. But that’s where the sadness lies too: none of our hearts beat forever. Each of us have been given a certain amount of time, each heart a certain number of beats. Perhaps we would be wise to mark our time here, count our heartbeats and cherish those who give us this unconditional, unquestionable love so that we too can give such love to others. This past weekend I helped my mom move, and already I can see how the sun is setting on her life. My mom loves me. So much. It’s not measureable. And I am blessed for it. And I have a three year old daughter whose big brown eyes are now just welcoming the sun rise on her life. My greatest hope is that I will be able to bless my little girl with such love too. I’m also hoping that I won’t be denied the opportunity and that no one will interfere (some people might put a dam in the river).

God bless us all. I didn’t intend on writing all this, it just came out. I’m not going to tell you if I cried after reading this story, either. Please don’t ask me.

Heartfelt thanks….”

I think, now, of my grandfather’s passing two weeks ago. At 92 years of age, by the time his heart pushed out its last number of beats, he had witnessed so many remarkable sunrises and sunsets. What an achievement. Looking to the future – my best friend will be bringing her child into the world in just a few short weeks. This new baby’s heart is already pumping, and the great river of love between mother and child has begun. God bless us all, indeed.

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