We have had our youngest granddaughter, Virginia, with us for a few days, for Camp Nana and Camp Dr. Danks. She has been absolutely precious. And she has been exhausting! Where does her energy come from? She is still going strong, and I am exhausted!
Since our first granddaughter, Mary Grace, was born more than thirteen years ago, and her two sisters came soon thereafter, Elsie who is now eleven years old, and Virginia, who is six years old, we have had them for a visit without their parents every summer. This year the older girls were at camp this week, and their schedules have been so booked every week this summer, so we have so far just had Virginia. And Virginia was thrilled to be with us without her sisters. Dr. Danks and I drove to St. Marys last weekend and picked Virginia up to bring her home with us to Raleigh. On both stops we made on the way from St. Marys to Raleigh, Virginia announced to all who would listen, “My family isn’t with me! This is my Nana, and it is Camp Nana week!”
We have cooked together, been to the pool, had lunch with MoMo at North Carolina State University, gone to Pullen Park, and to Marbles Kids Museum. And cousin Drew, our youngest daughter Chatham’s son, who is five months old, has visited every night. Virginia is named after her aunt Chatham; her full name is Chatham Virginia, so this is a special relationship.
I am in awe of how our daughter Tara cares for these three precious children, Mary Grace (13,) Elsie (11,) and Virginia (6.) I am in awe of how she teaches them, makes sure that they have wonderful outings, and loves them in such a way that they are so secure. She is a much better mother than I was. I can say that without reservation. And Stephen, the girls’ dad, works so very hard to make it possible for Tara to do what she does with and for the girls. Stephen and Tara are both attorneys and own their own law practice, but they have decided that Tara’s priority needs to be with the girls, homeschooling them, and Stephen spends most of his time “bringing home the bacon.” I am so appreciative of both Tara and Stephen, for they have their priorities clearly in order. They have created a wonderful home for our precious granddaughters.
I have written down all of Virginia’s sayings this week, planning to make her a photo book of our time with her this week. Two things she has said about her mom are: “I brought all of the clothes my mom made for me because they will remind me of her!” Tara loves to sew and has made some precious clothes for all of the girls. Virginia loves the clothes her mom has made for her, obviously. Several people have commented on her beautiful dresses, and she has been proud to tell them that her mom made them for her.
The other thing Virginia said was in response to what I said about her mom. I told Virginia, “You have a great mom because you are such a great girl!” Virginia replied, “My mom doesn’t think so, but I really am!” I took that to mean that her mom disciplines her, so she doesn’t think her mom thinks she is a great girl, but she herself still thinks she is! I call that confidence!
How does she do it? How does Tara (and Stephen) create such a loving environment that these precious granddaughters are such a joy? I think the answers are not so complicated. Love, discipline, and fun. No, that isn’t all there is to it, but those three things make a happy home.