Pizzamamma returns...

I started making pizza for Danny and his friends while he was still in high school. My first screen name on AOL was Pizzamamma (back when it was "scary" to think of putting your real name out there). I don't make pizza nearly as often as I used to, but I got to make it for Cheryl and the kids Thursday night. Food is one of the ways I enjoy nurturing my loved ones (as well as myself). The above is topped with Italian sausage, chopped mushrooms, onions and jalapeno peppers. It was delicious, but my favorite pizza is still Pie in the Sky thin crust. I have never been able to figure out how to make a great thin crust.

My niece, Nikki, was giving out hugs to Andrew and Joshua.

My niece, Lexi, and youngest nephew, Jackson.

Andrew plays well alone and reminds me of how Danny was at his age. I am realizing more and more just how easy Danny was as a kid. I only remember one major defiant episode (at four). In hindsight, it's hard to believe that but it's really true.
The boys love to climb up into the recliner with me. I keep my laptop next to this chair and this is where I do my writing. The computer has almost totally replaced the TV in my life...except when Lost is on.

This morning we are having French Toast and Mini Wheats.

I have had the boys since Tuesday evening. Andrew just walked over and asked me, "Do you remember my mommy and daddy?"

Grandma Shari: "I do!"

Andrew: "You do?"

We all have our moments of seeing our parents in ourselves. I even recognized a few Grandma Annalea genes this week. John will say to me every now and then, "That laugh sounded just like your dad." In almost every way I aspire to be my mother as a grandma. Danny adored his Grandma Jane. But she used to say, "Shame on you," and I occasionally find myself restraining my impulse to say it. Only once this week did I slip and say, "You are hurting Grandma Shari's feelings." (I don't want them to be insensitive to the feelings of others, but neither do I ever want them to feel responsible for other people's emotions - I'm not sure one can ever perfectly walk the middle of that road.) The things I think about as a grandma that I never thought about as a mother would make a very long list.

I think I was a decent mother, but I'm a better grandma. I was two months shy of being 19 when Danny was born. So I was just winging it. As I studied childhood development at Lipscomb, I realized that I did a lot of things right by accident - not because I knew. I just did what seemed right to me and it worked out. Where I really failed horribly was nutrition. I let Danny choose what he wanted to eat far too much. I was a bit lazy. And back in those days, we had a steady diet of tacos and eating out. One of my friends teased me for years about how I regularly forgot to bring a snack for Danny in the nursery at church. She would intentionally bring extra for him.

I'm so thankful I had my mom back in those early days. She was and is my role model as a grandma. She always wanted to keep Danny, even on short notice. I don't remember many times when she turned me down if I asked her. I was still a kid myself. And I remember how much it always hurt my feelings when I would talk about having another baby and Mom would say, "Shari, you're cut out for one." It felt to me like she was saying I wasn't a very good mother. But now when I have both boys for several days (or when I watch Rebecca taking care of them), I understand better what she meant. She was actually right. One child was best for me and my circumstances. And I was very blessed to have the one I had!

In spite of not having a large family of my own, I have been blessed with many nieces and nephews because both of my brothers have had big families. One has four kids and the other has five. My nieces and nephews were my practice grandchildren. I have been close to most of them as they have grown up and I love them as much as if they were my grandchildren (which is a lot). I was Aunt Shari for so long, I still felt like Aunt Shari to Joshua for months after he was born. Now I have to remember that I am Nikki's Aunt Shari and not her Grandma Shari when talking to her.

I'm still not that great at the nutrition thing. But I try harder. I once told Rebecca (who is very nutrition conscious) that Danny didn't eat by the pediatrician rule book and he lived. She said, "But he has IBS." I said, "Good point."

I hope that's the worst thing I did to him (but I kind of doubt it).


justme said…
That pizza looks absolutely wonderful! You must be an awesome cook, Shari. And love your book title and new web site, BTW. Very best wishes to you and John.

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