Friday, January 30, 2009

Doug Rich, Joanna Hawkins, Linda Rich, Mindy Hillman, and Vanessa Croshaw

The people in my office threw me a super great retirement party where Doug and our four girls and 6 grand kids came and joined some of my BYU friends for pizza, some fiddling, and visiting. It was the best day! I was so happy to have all three of my daughters there, since they moved here at Christmas time so we are now all in the same state! I'm going to enjoy my retirement even more since they are closeby. A lot of magic happening all the time in this Mimi's life!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Okay, my blog has a "new face" and a new purpose. I have been thinking about my role as a grandma (call me Mimi) and remembering how much I loved my own grandmothers when I was growing up. Another component of that is how superb my own mother is at grandparenting. I was just daydreaming about how I would love to have even half the skills as Mimi to my beautiful crowd of ten (soon to be 13) grandkids.

Before I just go on and on about my grandchildren and then on and on some more about the nurturing grannies in my life, I'd like to invite my readers to share some of their notions, remembrances, and tried and true grandparenting.

To kick it off I'd like to introduce you to my Grandma Lettie Sanders. She loved having me as a grand daughter. . . or at least she made me feel like I was her favorite. One of the ways she did this is very simple but meant so much to me. I don't remember her telling me that I was beautiful, though I felt beautiful around her. I don't remember her telling me that I was smart, or talented, or clever, but then again, I did feel as though I was all those things when I was with her. I specifically remember that instead of praising in generalities like "you were fantastic" she knew me well enough to say things like "Linda, when you were practicing that I knew it would pay off" or "I bet you are really happy with how you did that."

Complimenting the effort instead of praising me created a realization that I was good at working hard to achieve something. I remember thinking that my Grandma Sanders really understood me in a deep and meaningful way.

My mother, LuRee Ottley, had a similar way of helping my own children as they studied violin and other instruments while growing up. While I worked with them from day to day and often overlooked the plodding progress, she would be amazed at what they had learned between her visits. She helped remind me from time to time that their efforts really showed and to see them I needed to step back once in a while and pat everyone, including myself on the back.

Grandmothers have an unconditional love that is not clouded by exuberant expectations of parents who are closer to the situation on a daily basis. I was reminded of this when my oldest grand daughter, Abbie, was about 4 years old. We were reading Cinderella when all of a sudden she turned to me and said "Mimi, are you my Fairy Godmother?"

Well, almost, since everyone knows Mimi Magic really can exist for each of God's precious children.