One of our granddaughters texted me while I was at work today.  She is 11.  When you are 11 you are just you no matter what.  You haven't crossed that gotta-be-fully-immersed-in-current-culture quite yet.  She hasn't crossed that line and I hope she never does.

We took pictures of ourselves; her laying in her bed and me at work.  She had that beautiful smile I love and her eyes were sparkling with Hailie-ness.  There wasn't a big point to our texting conversation though we covered school, the test she had tomorrow, how tired she was, going to her Aunt's wedding over the weekend, that we were coming to see her the end of the month.  She asked how gramps was which made me laugh out loud at my desk.  She told me she missed living closer to me.  I totally agreed with that statement and found myself willing tears away as I read what she wrote.

Blended families are an interesting dynamic.  I gained this beautiful girl as a granddaughter when I married Doug almost 3 years ago.  You have to find your footing upon entering a family that is already in place.  Hailie and her sister don't call me grandma or memaw or anything grandma-ish.  It's not that I don't think I am old enough or am not ready to be a grandmother. They already have two biological grandmas.  I don't need to compete, take their place or force myself on her.

I can love her from the place of just being Nancy, or Aunt Nancy as her younger sister calls me.  Whether I am Grandma, Aunt Nancy or just Nancy, I can give a piece of myself to invest in her life.  I don't need a title to love or to be loved as is proof with most relationships.  I love my friends not because they have the title of friends, but because of who they are and what I feel about them.  Love is a title all its own.

I loved that she had texted me from her bed after a long day at school.  I loved the picture of her smiling.  I loved that she called Doug gramps.  I loved that she said she missed me living closer to her.  I loved that she was 11 and just was who she was.  I loved in the basket of good things God gave me through Doug that Hailie was one of them.

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