September 9th 2016 will go down in history for not only the Sioux tribe, but for all Native Americans. This is the day that our voices, Native or not, were finally heard for the Earth. This was the day that the government finally came to our aid, to see things from our perspective. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been labeled a ‘white girl’. Not that I mind. It did hurt my feelings when we were referred to having ‘white privilege’. The shunning from different cultures weighed heavy. I always had a sense of envy when different cultures shared their roots. The way they prepared and presented food, the different styles of their hair and clothes, and they had their own language. I knew that I was Native but there were some relatives and ancestors that were European. But I couldn’t get it through my mind that part of me is European (although there is nothing wrong with that.) I just knew that I didn’t belong. That it was not in my heart to accept it. Then again maybe I just thought there was more to my story. Most people ‘connect’ to their past. Funny thing about it was I never could. Now I feel connected more than ever.
Sure, my mother always told me I was Native from her side of the family. Believe me, I look just like her. And she could walk onto a reservation and no one would stop her. She looked like she belonged there. Then there was my father who also had quite a bit of Native blood running in his veins. He told me an indian princess was one of my ancestors. I was so excited to think that we have that honor in having pure blood. But then he would say, “You’re the whitest American indian anyone has ever met!” That confused me for years. I couldn’t understand that if we weren’t directly related to her, how could we have her blood running through our veins? Then I learned the reason after he had passed. It was her husband we were related to all along. I’ve always been told how Native I look. How I can keep a tan throughout the winter. Too bad my daughter could never hold a tan at all. She has beautiful blue eyes with blonde hair when she was young. Most people look at her, then look at me, then look back at her and can’t understand how a brown-eyed, dark-haired person could give birth to a blonde, blue-eyed baby. Unfortunately my granddaughter is the opposite of me as well.
I guess there are pros and cons to connecting to a certain group of people. A con being that I am in a minority. Or maybe that is a pro. I’m not for certain. But I do know this: I know I am predominantly Native American and I am SO PROUD of being a part of a culture that is finally opening up and being heard. So what if the government finally came to our aid and stopped the construction of the pipeline through sacred grounds and under the Missouri river. I am very proud of the tribes (yes! More than one tribe!!!) consistency and WITHOUT violence! We knew this could happen! With all the shootings happening in recent years and months, we did this without hostility. This should tell you that peace can reign. Good combats evil. You can get what you want and need without fighting. THIS is what the Native Americans are all about. What if this is the first day of the Environmental Revolution? That we clean up our acts with Mother Earth? We have a long road to go but if we, as the human race, are united, today has proven that we can win this fight for our children, grandchildren and their children.
Gosh things have changed since I’ve last talked to everyone. It has been a year since I posted my last blog and I hope it doesn’t happen again. Not that it is an excuse, but I have been very, very busy with…well…life. We now have a toddler and she brings so much joy to our lives every day. She’s always into new things and we are trying to show her the happiest and healthiest little person that she can be.
Although I can tell you she has been an absolute joy, we are starting to deal with that inevitable word, “No”. Even when the answer is “Yes”, she means no. There’s no in-between with this kid. Although she does say, “Thank you”, it does sound like “Dew-Dew” but we get the point. She even eats at the table on a booster seat rather than a high chair. Now we all have dinner together on the same table without the bulkiness of a high chair.
Victoria as Cinderella at ‘Boo at the Zoo”
Everyday has been an experience, yes. The places we have been….and she has been there right along with us. Out of all the places she has been, I would have to say that the Halloween season was the best time. At first I thought she would be too young to participate in all the festivities with the bigger kids, but her mother always tries to
First experience going down a big-kid slide
include her into the mix. And with that, Victoria has given us many wonderful memories. One of the best parts about this whole scenario is that both Victoria’s mother and father were all included. This is how things should be.
We have had great experiences. And SHE has had many great experiences thus far. I love that they all join a group of friends to seek out all these fun things for the kids to do. Everyone is together and no one has any mixed feelings. It’s definitely for the kids to experience this. The adults know that any hard feelings can be saved for at a later date; this is only for the children to see both of their parents getting along.
Last year has been a real fun time learning about her like/dislikes and I am really enjoying the person that Victoria is becoming. As I always say,”Being a grandmother is a wild ride!”
“Childhood never lasts, but everyone deserves one.”
My heart goes out to all the custodial and non-custodial parents who are without their child when it isn’t their visitation time. But what about the grandparents who, trying to bite their tongue on different situations, have to watch them go as well? Saturday night Victoria gets to spend the night at her Father’s house. From the time she leaves to her Father and Papaw’s house til the time she comes home I have to literally sit and think of things I have to do (or want to do) while shes gone.
Sure….there is laundry to do. And I really can get to those lunch dishes. Or, in my bedroom..my own bedroom needs cleaning and a bit rearranging. Come to think of it, I haven’t been able to get my winter clothes out of the closet in exchange for my summer clothes. But I will get to it. In the meantime I want to make sure that Victoria has as much of my time as I can give her.
Usually on Saturdays, I run to my friend’s house to have a few cups of coffee, finding out what is going on in their world and the world around them. Its kind of nice to be able to have ‘adult conversation’ once in a while. Sometimes I stay home and make a list of things that I could do such as vacuum (which I try not to do while she is there) and dust or mop…or both. Its not a blast but it sure does kill time. I’m also not a big believer in cable although I do have a laptop. Many times I watch movies or just simply listen to music while I am dusting or doing dishes. At least I know she will come home to a clean cozy house.
In the early part of December, we decided to put up a tree to celebrate Victoria’s first christmas. We did have fun. I put up the lights while my daughter decorated it with garland and different type of ornaments. Earlier that morning, I made Victoria a special hand-made ornament that I saw in a Facebook posting. Usually I find
The face says it all..grabbed a branch.
my creativity through a pencil or oils. But this time I wanted to make something for her and eventually starting a tradition from Grandmother to Granddaughter.
I decided to make her a ‘keepsake’ ornament every year to put on the Christmas tree. Obviously this year she cannot do it so I started the tradition for her. I went to Target and bought a big plastic bulb that I can put things into the top of the hole. I had some pieces of the decorations from on top of my daughter’s baby shower cake that I have been saving for something creative..something like this. I also saved the baby bracelet/anklet from when Victoria was in the hospital being born. Its important to note that you shouldn’t put too much inside the bulb not to make it too heavy but enough to keep it buoyant on a branch of the tree. Finally I found a pink ribbon (or blue for a boy) and tied it around the stem of the ornament. Voila! You have a homemade First Christmas keepsake ornament that is filled with personal memories that you can look back to in years to come. Its quick and easy and does not cost a lot, maybe a few bucks.
I am shaking my head to the fact that I almost missed my first Grandparents day. I mean, I really didn’t miss it, but it was a day just like any other day. Unfortunately it was too hot to take Victoria outside to sit and play on a blanket. Now that she sits up on her own, there are so many more things we can do together. Like I said before, it was my very first grandparents day and I almost missed it but my daughter didn’t.
As Victoria was sitting in her Pack N Play, I took the time to google what and when Grandparents day was really about. Yes it was earlier this month. It turns out that it is a new holiday that became recognized only 36 years ago in 1978. Marian McQuade of West Virginia was the original founder of Grandparents Day. Although there are many countries that recognize this event, it is usually celebrated on different days throughout the year. For instance, in France it is celebrated on the first sunday of March dating back to 1987. And out of all those different countries celebrating this day, some celebrate the grandmother and another day will be celebrated for the grandfather. This proves that grandparents are a very important part of their families lives…no matter what country you are from.
I’ve also learned that there is a song that was written in our honor. I heard some of it. Its cute. It was written in 2004 in Chula Vista, California by Johnny Prill mandated by the National Grandparents Day Council. (I never knew anything like this existed!) He was presented with the National Songwriters award because of its highly popular composition. He named it “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa”. It was written to give children across the nation the opportunity to celebrate and show their appreciation for their grandparents. It tells of the unique relationship between children and their grandparents. I’m guessing I take this ‘grandparent’ thing very seriously! And I love it!!!
In all actuality, it will be neat. Hard, but neat. I absolutely can not wait til the day my grandchild arrives. I never thought this would ever happen. Having a condition called A.D.E.M. as a teenager, I was told that ‘children were not possible’. Yet my daughter is here to share her soon-to-be child with the world.
As I look into my futuristic crystal ball, I fantasize about this day next year that I can celebrate what a true grandmother can be. I am going to be a hands-on grandmother, which means that since the proximity of my living quarters are so close, I will be there to help as much as I can without taking over, (which is going to be a feat in itself!) But I do worry..when I lay eyes on my precious bundle of joy, I will have to practice a lot of self-discipline to stand back and wait in the wings to give the responsibility to my daughter. I will have to practice to keep my thoughts to myself and let the mommy handle it, because I feel that I raised her right to take care of what she needs to do for her child. It’s only fair.
I want to be reminded why I am alive. A child can remind you. I do remember when my own daughter was a child and, although it was very scary, I felt a sense of comfort being in her presence. As a grandmother, I will achieve this again. The fact that children are indiscriminating, nonjudgmental little people and are curious to just about anything makes their joy so very contagious. Fear not! I can still come and go as I please without the feeling of handling all the responsibility. I will still be able to have a social life (such as it is). I will leave that responsibility to my daughter. I had my time to be able to raise her myself, now its her turn. There is a reason why women get pregnant in their 20s and 30s. They have more energy to take care their babies where I wouldn’t be able to have the energy to keep up like I once had.
One of my most favorite thing to do with a child is to teach them. They are sponges and showing them the proper steps to learn gives me the feeling of accomplishment. I will aspire to be a role model for my grandchild. I want to show ethical wisdom, emotional intelligence, generosity, respect for the environment and being able to accept the ups and downs that life will offer and how to accept them. As my grandchild is a window into a future unfolding, they can go either way. I want to make sure this child will be able to learn what other’s have the chance to do. I also want to be able to help instill values that we hold dear without risk of backlash. Yes, I am going to cherish these precious moments. 🙂