My mother recently spent a week at my house taking care of my older daughter during her fall break. My mother, who my daughters call “Maddie,” is not your typical grandmother. She does not make cookies -- she buys them. She is not retired — she still works full time in Pennsylvania as an attorney, which means she cancels her court dates to be able to watch my daughter for a week.
There are many things my daughters love about Maddie — shopping trips and frequent treats. There are many things I love about Maddie — she folds my laundry and has dinner on the table (warmed up from Whole Foods), when I get home. But the biggest thing we all love about Maddie is the way she loves our family unconditionally.
“Maddie,” my younger daughter screams as she runs up the driveway to jump into her grandmother’s arms. The hugs are never short. They are long and real, the kind of hugs only a grandmother knows how to give.
My older daughter is at the age where I can do nothing right. I am not cool enough for her. In fact, I am often labeled “weird” when I try to speak with her about things going on in her life or sing along to the radio during one of her favorite songs. Yet, Maddie is cool. She is someone my daughter wants to be around, and that’s cool with me.
I asked my younger daughter one day what she loved about Maddie. I expected to hear something about the mini chocolates she sometimes leaves on the girls’ beds at night.
“I love her because she listens to me,” she said without hesitation.
And isn’t that what we all want?
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books, including two on motherhood. Find her here on Monday.