My heart has a special place for you.. I will eat anyone that hurts you! I may have to spit them out after

My dear sweet granddaughter has graduated, when did that happen? Yesterday she was just a little girl 6 or 7 yrs old showing me a picture of a family she had crudely drawn and colored.

Who is this.. I pointed to the one with green badger-like eyes? “Oh.. that’s you nana!!” she burst out proudly. She was positively beaming I can still see her face.. and mine.. in that drawing. Dare I say I wore a lot of green eye shadow in those days.. oh my.

Now she expertly applies her own eye makeup and does intricate braiding on her hair.. waking up a couple hours early even, to make it to school on time. Her artwork has progressed to her wanting to pursue a degree in remedial art and apply it for marginalized and special needs children.

Having cousins with special needs has opened up her heart and her desire to make a career someday out of something she loves doing. In the meantime real life is waiting to pounce on her as she has decided she wants to spend a year or two away from school.

Real life is a real job that requires you to be there at all hours and all days.. she has joined the family business. Lest you think this is easy, family has to work twice as hard as regular staff. Oh.. and no complaining either, or you could get slammed with even more chores.

Her mom, my daughter, couldn’t wait to explore the outside work world (and get out of the family business) and move out on her own. I missed her terribly but realized that we need to let them go and so they can make their own decisions.

Do you remember your first job..your first paycheck, your first home away from home? I certainly remember mine, and I’m sure my daughter will remember hers as well.. she ended back in the family business and has been trying to get away again ever since.. loll.

My granddaughter has not only moved away from home but has also managed to work hard and become an intricate part in this family catering business. Her mom is her boss as well as her uncle .. well ok all of us are her bosses, what a cruel twist huh? Her and I have our own creative ideas on table décor’.. fortunately I am ‘retired’.

Some say moving in with her nana was not only ‘not’ moving out on her own.. but most wondered how long this would last! That was four months ago and I have collected two months rent already (first two were free, until she graduated.. on the honor roll all through high school.. btw!)

I have a picture of her with the biggest grin on her face and she is just beaming..waving the fifty dollar bills in front of her face, so proud to be paying her first months rent! God I love this girl so much.. but I am also thinking, will she still be grinning 6 ‘rents’ from now?

The real world beckons .. car payments, gas, license plates and insurance, clothes and food. Let us not forget eating out, we don’t cook very much.. I wonder if it is because we are always catering to everyone else that we just want someone else to cook for us?

Once you leave home, all roads lead to money spent trying to stay away. Freedom to ‘have it all’ on your own terms, does not come cheap, even if nanas rent is fairly reasonable.

Her decision, or the choice she made to live with me, turns out to be a very good one I think. I have not been home most of the summer and I leave for a month long trip soon, to Australia and Hong Kong. What little time we have spent together has only brought me pleasure and a new respect for her ‘life’ smarts.

She is learning the ropes and how to be independent. Oh.. and she is also working her butt off in the family business and has hardly been around here to enjoy her new-found freedom. She may regret taking this year off yet, but I don’t think so.

Do I wish she had made plans for further education beginning in the fall? Yes of course I do.. but it is her decision and not mine to make. I know that she is learning about life and what better education than jumping right in with both feet planted..! pretty courageous I think.

I wish I had her guts when I was her age. She will come to her own conclusions about what is best for her.. I have no doubts about that.

I am actually writing this in response to an ill thought out comment .. made to this hardworking , talented ,wonderful, smart and funny woman/child.. The person voiced their disappointment in her and her life decisions and choices she was making.

It was ill-timed and thoughtless and I say this to you “I guess you do not really know this wonderful thoughtful human being, and shame on you!”