When I was a child, in the corner of our playroom stood a cardboard box that Mom had filled with dressing-up clothes. My brother is 17 months younger than me; so we shared this box of fun. Or we would end up fighting over it because we both wanted to wear the same thing.
I remember days dressing-up as a Bride and Groom. I remember being a circus clown and my brother a monkey at the zoo, he loved monkeys so much. I can still see us dressed up as Aladdin and me as a Princess flying around on Mom’s living room rug. Our pretend magic carpet was blue and tan spirals with lots of tassels. Mom would join in and try to add bits to our games but it didn’t work, they didn’t go like that we had our own stories. We used to enjoy tying her up with skipping ropes though. A game she had to ban by the time we were of school age because we were both too good with the knots.
There were days when my little brother would be the cowboy with his shiny cap gun and I was an Apache with my bow and arrows. We’d run around on the grass verge outside our family home squealing with delight. We had each other and as much as we would fight and argue we also had our moments when we were inseparable.
I particularly loved my yellow bow and arrows, the ones with the red suckers on the ends that would stick to the playroom window. I can still see it in my head, it makes me smile. My Mom once told me that my brother fell asleep, on the living room floor, with his bottom sticking up so I painted a target on it and was using him for practising my aim.
Yep, that sounds so like me. 🙂
I found this old photo of me that my Nanny kept.
This was my Dad’s Mom, my Nanny P. (Link to a poem I wrote for her with photos)
This photo was in a little treasure box that I keep some of my Nan’s special things in. I was her little precious, she adored me and I always knew it. My Nanny was a dressmaker so when I stopped at her house she was never without a box of goodies to dress me up in. She made me the most beautiful dresses, and when I was older she made my dance costumes too. I loved spending time with my Nanny and we had so much fun, she loved to show me off in the lovely things she made for me.
My Nanny inspired me with her needle crafts, she was so very talented. As a teen she became my role model and my closest friend as I trained to become a seamstress following in her footsteps. My Nan was Aspie, I know this now. I was her focus, her sweetheart, she recognised herself in me.
My lovely Mom and my Nanny were very different people
They didn’t always see eye to eye and had very different ways of understanding. I was never caught up in any of the cross fire. They both chose to always do what was best for me, they both saw my needs and found ways to meet me in my world. I will be forever thankful for who they were and what they both gave.
I miss my Mom and I miss my Nanny too, but one thing they both clothed me in, something that I never grew out of. Something that I felt and still feel growing in me. Their example of unconditional love and this is where I see God.
The Message (MSG)
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing; sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
My Nanny was not a believer but on the last Sunday of her life we sang this together in the hospital chapel. As we sang she prayed. She had the face of an angel, the mind of a child and the heart that will always be my Nanny.