I love to throw parties. Last night was no exception. There are some people who just will pick up something just to be together. But no, not me. If there were a word to describe my character, "Lagniappe" is it. People arrive to share the very best. It begins with the clean house, with enticing smells, a happy and comfortable atmosphere. Last night, we had some new spinach dip to try, with crispy colorful veggie chips. Everyone was starving, I could tell. Once the drinks were brought out and dinner was finally on the white linen tablecloth, it was salad and cabbage soup. Then, the main dish along with homemade applesauce, sliced carrots, peas and mashed, whipped potatoes.
We always say the "prayer" together and allow time for our little grandson to add his personal intentions, which is usually for his little friends. He happily sits at the end of the table, grampy on the other side, feeling important. Conversation is always welcomed, and it was his opportunity to announce to us that, "I'm a Dude." We were all taken by surprise. It is a term used when addressing other guys, Like Hey Dude, (guy or pal). A guy thing. He sure is growing up. He's my little man. Normally, he tells me things that are important to him. Tonight it was, "grandma, I'm staying at your house." He is almost as happy as his parents are, that they are going away. Then he told me again, that he has a "big boy room now" painted orange and dark blue. Normally when we get together for dinner, he has so many people to play with and talk too, that I'm the last person on his list. He knows that grandma is doing the same, visiting with all her guests. We are both busy doing the same thing.
Last night, I heard grampy say, don't touch grandma's shells, she worked hard to find them. I have quite a collection, which I place on my little table in front of the sofa. Nathan and I pick them up during our conversation time. The last time, I showed him what a "natural hinge" is, as two shells were still together. You can learn a lot from nature. In my house he can "touch" things and he feels welcome. Comfort precedes conversation. His mother acknowledges his "using his words." Communication skills are the most important of all the learned abilities. He is praised for his "nice manners," I also observed. The affection displayed toward their son, is heartwarming. Nathan is a very lucky boy.
It was a big night, as he helped me with a "gluten free, yellow, butter-cream" birthday cake for Aunt Jean. He loves birthday's and reminded me that I had just had one. It is always a happy time to remember someone else. This was a cake that everyone in the house could enjoy, taking into consideration all the allergies and intolerance.
Then, as usually done this time of the year, we exchanged names for Christmas presents. Done secretly, we use the draw a name method. Part of the fun is in not knowing who has your name. This way we limit the number of gifts to focus on one "special" one.
As I was cleaning up in the kitchen, Nathan reminded me that he was still waiting for his "coffee." It's kind of a joke, as Nathan doesn't really drink coffee. Sometimes, I warm up a little milk and hot chocolate. As long as it's in a "coffee cup" it will do. Last night, it was a touch of decaf in cream. Just like the soup, which I called "ketchup soup" it was just to taste. He really doesn't want the coffee, he wants to be treated like "the big boy he is." Grandmothers understand children. It is the little small insignificant moments that make our relationship "special." Really knowing and listening to someone.
Later, that evening Nathan was sitting on a bar stool, because he can now, finishing up his cake, with watered down orange soda, looking very tired. He had had a very busy day, but was not complaining. I brought him into the bathroom to wash his orange face and hands, gently, and finished with his favorite hand lotion, smelling like lime jello. It's fun to come to "grandma's house," because grandma gives "Lagniappe" a little something extra.
Lagniappe is the gift that grandma gives to everyone that comes to know and love her, because she knows and loves them.
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