Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Julia Sims: Love thy neighbor

Posted November 4, 2013

WRAL-TV reporter Julia Sims with son Will

Mike and I don't have family here. Most of our relatives are spread across the Carolinas and Virginia. Before Will, it wasn't that big of a deal. We'd just hop in the car and go when the mood hit us. After Will, we realized the value in having family nearby.

I'm not talking about having built-in babysitters. It's more than that. You know, the really important things like hugs, pinches on the cheeks, doting.

And that's where our dear neighbor comes in. She's been there since the beginning. She's been there through it all.

As soon as Will could talk, he named her Nini. We consider her Will's honorary grandmother. At times, I'd swear they're like best friends. If something exciting happens, Will instantly says "Let's go tell Nini!"

And then there's the food. You know how grandmothers always have a cookie handy? That's Nini. Will walks into her kitchen and heads directly for the cupboard with the sweet treats and Nini always pulls out the most delicious goodies. Julia Sims' husband and son with beloved neighbor "Nini"

Of course, like most grandmothers, Nini can cook up a storm. We'll get a call in the morning telling us there are fresh homemade biscuits waiting for us. There are "grownup" biscuits for Mike and me and "baby" biscuits for Will. There are the heart-shaped sugar cookies for Valentine's Day and her banana pudding.

The first stop on Will's first day of kindergarten was Nini's house. He had to tell her everything that was packed in his lunchbox. She "oohed" and "ahhhed" and smothered him with hugs and watched us as we walked down the street.

Nini was there when we brought Will home from the hospital. She's been there for each birthday. This year, we celebrated her 94th birthday ... and we hope to celebrate many more.

We are blessed beyond measure to have her in our lives. So, while we may not have our immediate family here, we have our Nini who, in every sense of the word, is family.

Julia is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the mother of a kindergartner. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.



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  • RGMTRocks Nov 6, 2013

    Your family is truly blessed with this precious relationship - and so is Nini! Made even more special by the fact that you don't have family here - but then, you do. Treasure and enjoy!

  • bhenderson Nov 5, 2013

    Julia, you, Mike and Will are sooooo lucky, BUT, so is Nini. She has this wonderful, thoughtful young family next door that loves her, has time for her, shares their son with her and really appreciates her "grown up hot, fresh homemade biscuits" that I am sure she is delighted to make, knowing that they will be enjoyed and appreciated. You are extremely generous to share your family with this lady.

  • Wilson Andrew Craig, III Nov 5, 2013

    You are very blessed. I miss my grandparents ever day

  • twsw1987 Nov 5, 2013

    When I was young(birth to age 4) we lived in Raleigh. My brother was not quite two years younger than I, so my parents had their hands full during those times. My grandparents lived 35 miles away and we frequently visited "home". But there were two couples, Effie and Deck Martin and Leonard and Helen Wood, along with Ms. Margaret Wilson, who were very special to our family. We kept in touch with them through the years. Sadly, four of them have passed away, but my mother was recently able to visit with Mrs. Wood who now lives closer to her children. Thank you Julia for honoring your "Nini" and for reminding me to honor these wonderful folks as well!

  • UNCW_Ash Nov 5, 2013

    We had a couple who lived close to us when our 2 were younger and it was the same way. Though we've moved about 20 min away, we continue to keep in touch with them, invite them to ball games and have them over for holidays and birthdays b/c they still are like family to us.

  • BeKind Nov 5, 2013

    My being a Nana made this story special. My grandchildren often saddle up to me to tell me their special news and sometimes their worries and fears. I always take the time to listen. Bless you Nini!!

  • ljdenni Nov 5, 2013

    Julia - thanks for sharing about Will's Nini! She is making precious memories for Will. So special! Blessings to Nini too!

  • mlt0923 Nov 4, 2013

    so sweet! thanks for sharing :) God places just the right people in our lives in just the right places :)