Many debate about the role of nurture or nature in how a child develops – I however, am who I am today because of Nan-ture. I am noticing more and more everyday that so much of the good (and not so good) parts of my personality were influenced by my late Nan. Making sure everyone is fed at all times – that’s my Nan. Giving my opinion on pretty much any topic – I have my Nan to thank. Struggling to ask for help – totally my Nan. Facing problems head on – oh hi Nan…
I can even recall a single event influenced by my Nan that forever changed my personality.
When I was eight years old I got a Skip-It for Easter. If you are in the dark about what exactly a Skip-It is, I encourage you to take a moment and quickly google how this 80s fad could bring even the toughest third-grader to their knees if it happened to graze their ankle. Anyhoodle, I got the Skip-It and was instantly the coolest kid on the block.
One day my Nan took me to the park and off I went with my Skip-It when I ran into another little girl. As is often the case with eight year olds, we instantly became BFFs and I let her test out my prize possession. After a few tries, she started walking away from the park WITH my Skip-It! I ran after her yelling “hey give it back!” Without missing a beat, girlfriend turns around looks me dead in the eye and says, “What this? This is MINE.” I couldn’t believe what this little Winona Ryder was saying!
I ran back to my Nan crying and told her what happened. My Nan calmly got up and followed the girl to the home she had just entered. I trailed behind, both terrified and excited about what would happen next. My Nan rang the doorbell while I stood at the bottom of the steps. Ironically, it was her grandma who answered the door, and after a brief, and calm, description of what happened her grandmother replied, “well Jenny is saying it belongs to her.” They were both liars!
My Nan took an audible breath and then…well let’s just say, that was the moment in which I learnt just how much adults could curse. We walked away from the house, Skip-It in hand and my Nan teaching me a very important lesson. First be kind, be incredibly kind, but don’t ever let anyone take advantage of your kindness.
My Nan had a really challenging childhood and it could have made her really resentful and bitter. Instead she was loving and forgiving. Sure, she was tough when she needed to be (or when we needed her to be), but she always put her family first, and I am so grateful for that Nan-ture.
Enjoy this week’s menu friends, it’s one I know Nan would have liked.