Sharon Randall

It was the first birthday of my first child’s first child. That’s a lot of firsts. I wanted to spend it with my grandson and his mom and dad. But the coronavirus quarantine kept us miles apart.

A few days before Jonah’s big day, I realized I didn’t have a birthday card to send him and I couldn’t go out to buy one.

ope体育Jonah wouldn’t care. But his parents might. And I’d probably forfeit any chance of being named Nana of the Year.

So I decided to make a card for him. I started with a photo that was taken a few months ago. Jonah is wearing a t-shirt that says “I’ll eat you up!” (from Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”) and grinning his gorgeous wild thing grin.

ope体育I wish you could see it.

If the boy could be any cuter, he’d be illegal. Yes, I’m his nana, but if you saw him, you’d agree.

ope体育Anyhow, along with the photo I added “Happy birthday!” and “So glad you were born!” and “Nana loves you ALL!” (All is as much as anyone can possibly love.) Plus a few other things I thought he ought to know.

Then I emailed it to his mom and dad to read to him for me.

I think he really liked it. When we FaceTimed on his birthday, he gave me kisses on the phone.

My husband and I share eight grandchildren. Our oldest is 9. Jonah is our youngest, so far.

ope体育After I made that card for him, I realized the things I wrote in it were things I want all my grandchildren to know and to remember in years to come.

ope体育So I decided to put those things, and more, in a column. Some people write books for their grandkids. Mine are lucky I don’t have that much to say.

Nana’s Top 10 Tips on Life

ope体育1. Decide what kind of person you want to be — not your career, but your character — and then, every day, be that person.

ope体育2. Respect your parents and teachers and elders. Learn all you can from them. Welcome their advice. But in the end, make your own choices. You have your mother’s laugh and your father’s eyes, but your life is entirely your own.

ope体育3. Try to like the people in the family you grow up in. Chances are, for better or worse, you’ll spend holidays together forever.

ope体育4. Be kind as kind as you can possibly be — to everyone, and most of all, to yourself.

ope体育5. Be thankful. Nothing in life will make you happier, or more fun to be with, than keeping your heart filled with gratitude.

ope体育6. Be wise. Use the brains God gave you and remember all the dumb sayings (“Pretty is as pretty does, money doesn’t grow on trees, and don’t count your chickens before they hatch!”) that I tried to drill into your parents, and your parents try to drill into you. Someday you’ll try to drill them into your kids.

ope体育7. Forgive everyone, including yourself. If you hurt someone, apologize and try not to hurt them again. If someone hurts you, forgive them and move on. Holding a grudge will hold you back. Grace will set you free.

8. Give more thought to your hopes and dreams than to your worries and fears. And spend more time looking at birds and clouds than at TVs and computer screens. Technology is important, but Nature is life.

9. Listen closely to the stories people are longing to tell. And tell your own stories to anyone who will listen. Stories are how we get to know ourselves and each other and the world.

10. Love with all your heart and soul and strength and time and money. Love your God and yourself, family and friends, neighbors and strangers and people you’ll never meet. Love the person you share your life with, the children you call your own and the grandchildren you’ll be given, if you’re lucky. Love the least lovable souls on Earth, but most of all, love life.

ope体育Finally, know this: You are loved and will be loved every moment of every day by many wonderful people. But your nana will always love you ALL.

Sharon Randall is a syndicated columnist. Contact her at P.O. Box 416, Pacific Grove, CA 93950 or via her website at .

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