My Grandma Water was the epitome of a Texas lady. She always had a pitcher of sweet tea on hand with fresh baked cookies cooling on a baking rack. She was quick with a kind word and you did exactly what was asked of you by her. I have so many fond memories of helping her bake, learning to sew, feeding horses, visiting folk (as she called it), helping others and, best of all, just sitting in her lap (even at the age of 22).
She insisted upon good manners and my goal was always to make her proud of me. I can remember one rainy night when I was young stopping at a nice restaurant, just the two of us. I tried so hard the entire meal to use good etiquette and have perfect manners. I ate with one hand in my lap, cut and ate one bite of meat at a time, chewed with my mouth closed, and put my napkin in the proper place when I excused myself to use the restroom. She didn't say anything about my manners the entire meal and I felt so deflated as we walked to the car. Wasn't she proud of me? Did I do something to disappoint her? As she slid into the drivers seat, she turned and looked at me and said, "Lucia, honey, I was so impressed at dinner! You are such a lovely young lady with amazing manners. I am so proud that you are my granddaughter and to know that I can trust you to mind your p's and q's." She then pulled me in for a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I'm pretty sure my cheeks hurt from smiling so much at what she said and I walked on cloud nine for days.
I am my Grandma's granddaughter and have the same love for etiquette and manners that she had (although she would be appalled that I have yet to send thank you notes from our Texas Sip & See... the twins have kept us busy and I promise to one day soon write and mail them). I could read Miss Manners or Emily Post books for hours - for fun! I work to instill the same social graces that my Grandma taught me in our kids. I feel like a broken record sometimes and I hope what I say and what I do "sticks." Well, as my Grandma would say, the proof is in the pudding.
I am thrilled to say that Hayden has wonderful manners 98% of the time. It makes my heart so happy when he asks (without prompting) for something by saying "Mommy, May I please..." and then says, "Thank you, Mommy, for..." He asks to be excused from the table. He says "Pardon Me" when he passes gas or burps. It makes me so very proud of him and I tell him that every day. I can see that he is trying so hard to please us and I know that he has a servant's heart.
Last night Hayden hit a ball over the fence and he, Dawson, and Chip went to go get it. I heard them talking and took Ansley with me to see who they were chatting with. Hayden was playing with our neighbors boy/girl 3.5 year old twins that live across from us on the side street (we live on a corner lot). They were having so much fun! As all the parents chatted, the kids played soccer and chased one another. When it was time to go home, our neighbor starting picking up some of the toys and putting them in the garage. I was so proud when Hayden picked up some bouncy ball ride on thing and carried it to our neighbor without anyone asking. He may be sporting a Mohawk right now, however, he is still sweet and kind. Don't let the tough hair fool you!
As we walked back home holding hands, I thought to myself, "I know Grandma Water is looking down from her rocking chair in Heaven just loving this moment." She had a soft spot for her granddaughters, but I have a feeling a certain little boy would make her melt too.