Camp Nana Part 1
June 15, 2022
God the Lord answers, “Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you.” Isaiah 49:15
This past weekend I had the pleasure of holding “Camp Nana” for our two youngest granddaughters, Anne-Sophie (8) and Marie-Hélène (5), while Rod was out of town. They arrived Thursday afternoon and departed Sunday morning. Friday began with a visit to the Rt. 11 Potato Chip Factory, where we sampled chips and came home with bags to share. We shopped at Mowery’s Orchard and selected fresh corn and watermelon for dinner. We hiked at Seven Bends State Park and finished up with a picnic. We played with bubbles in the back yard and had a chance to practice batting with a Nerf ball and bat. We had a cookout with a fire pit and feasted on hotdogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, and S’more’s. We finished out the evening watching the first part of Incredibles 2.
A very surprising thing occurred. At one point in the afternoon Anne-Sophie called me “Mom” and then corrected herself. While we were eating our dinner on the deck, Anne-Sophie said, “Nana, what’s your name?” I replied, “Aside from Nana, my name is Anne, just like the first part of your name.” She responded, “I think we should call you Mom.”
I hesitated for a beat, realizing that to these adopted granddaughters “Mom” is a complicated subject. I replied, “Well you have a Mama Chelsey and Marie-Hélène has a Mama Kia. But if you want, you can call me Old Mom. That’s what grandmothers are, old mothers.” They laughed about that, and the discussion ended.
But not for me. These beloved grandchildren have very infrequent contact with their birth mothers. Their Daddy (my son Seth) and Papa (Seth’s spouse – Jean-Philippe) are amazing parents. The girls won the lottery there! And Seth and Jean-Philippe won the lottery as well. At the same time, I am the closest female relative and recognize that our relationship is particularly important.
The most common name we give God is father, but the verse in Isaiah describes God with female imagery, a mother who will not forget her child. What I thought of as making fun memories was also something more. It was demonstrating through actions and words, a person who loves extravagantly and loves enough to set limits (potato chips don’t get served for breakfast or dinner; and pushing your sibling results in time-out) and who points them to their heavenly parent who loves them so much more than me.
With love ~ Anne