Thursday, December 23, 2010
Lessons from Nana
Today would have been Nana's 92nd birthday, and in honor of that fact, I thought I'd share these valuable life lessons she taught us--products of Depression-era thriftiness and her own creative resourcefulness.
1. If you didn't sweat or get your clothes dirty, you can wear them again the next day.
2. You can repurpose empty margarine tubs (or just about anything else) by covering the brand logo with a pretty scrap cut from wrapping paper or a greeting card.
3. If you are getting in the shower immediately after going #1, you don't have to wipe. (I never follow that one, but I think of her whenever I break that rule.)
4. If you don't have any pockets, your sleeve and your brassiere are excellent places to keep a tissue on hand.
5. Everything in moderation. I vividly recall having to pick just one of each color M&M out of the jar. That way, you only ate seven drops of heavenly goodness and had to be intentional about it.
6. Give kids choices. This one is echoed in every parenting book or magazine I read, and I first recall seeing it in action when Nana would ask whether I wanted the white cereal bowl or the red one, the yellow dinner plate or the orange one. (The logic is that if the child has control over some part of the decision, she is less likely to freak out at the parts that are nonnegotiable.)
7. Keep the spark alive. Nana's favorite story to tell about me as a child was how I once saw her putting on lipstick just before going to bed, and I asked why she would do that. "To look good for Grandpa," she told me, and I definitely didn't get it. (This is definitely one I have let slide since Kate was born. Sweatshirts are much more common sleepwear these days than satiny nighties. Alas.)
What lessons did you learn from your grandparents?