published Monday, February 11th, 2013

Grand Thoughts: Routine interrogations help keep you connected

I love to talk.

At some time or another, people in my life have asked me to be quiet. It's hard, though, because I have a lot to say, and there's even more that I want to know. I drove my kids somewhat crazy as they were growing up, though they got used to my talking and loved me unconditionally. After all, they reasoned, I'm a reporter, and asking questions is what I do.

A typical school day ended with me asking, "Did you have a good day? Who did you sit by at lunch? What did you learn today? What was the best thing about your day?"

I seriously wanted to know.

I was very involved in my children's lives. I was homeroom mother, Girl Scout leader, volunteer for church, school and sports activities and so forth. I knew their teachers, principals, coaches and friends.

And, I might add, today some of my best friends are best friends of my children. Most of them call me "Mom," and I love them all.

So it's only natural that I'm doing the same thing with my granddaughters. They haven't gotten to the stage, though, where they find my routine interrogations irritating.

Tilleigh, 6, shares most everything with me about her school day and her interactions with her friends and teachers. And one of my biggest joys is that she loves school. She couldn't wait to go back after the Christmas holidays.

Evie, 2, has just become a full-fledged conversationalist, and our talks are priceless. Last week, when Evie stayed with us while her mommy took Tilleigh to acting class, Evie and I had a meaningful talk about her day at preschool.

"Did anything special happen at school today?" I asked.

"Bennett puked," she answered with a serious expression.

"Is he OK?" I asked.

"Yes, him Daddy got him," she answered.

"Did it make you sick, too?" I asked (knowing she has a weak stomach).

"No. Me hid," she said. (We're working on the

misuse of pronouns with Evie but, so far, it's not working.)

She told me about the little boy who won't play with her and how it hurts her feelings, about what she had for lunch and the other children she played with on the playground.

I want the girls to know they can always talk or confide in me and that I will always have the time to listen. Having an open line of communication is extremely important to me.

I am very close to my children and they share with me most everything going on in their lives. I talk to my son, who's in graduate school in California, at least three times a week. Though I don't get to see him often, we are very tuned in to what's going on in one another's lives.

I want to have the same relationship with my grandchildren. I'm certainly working on it.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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