I love my mother. She has always encouraged and allowed me to be myself. She lives to be in the company of her family - soaking it up - like I do. Now, as the rest of the family begins to trickle in for the holidays, she and I will be doing a lot of this.
What I really appreciate about living here in Hong Kong with her nearby, is the constant role she now has in my children's lives. We never had the luxury of spending our birthdays together before. Now, we can do that AND eat dinner together most nights of the week.
The kids love when we go to Gooning/Nining's house to play. They have their stash of toys over there along with a whole set of routines they enjoy. Ella loves to water the plants on Nining's verandah and Buddy and Ella both love to feed the fish in the pond. Most recently, Buddy has been enjoying special sleep overs at Gooning's. In fact, with the family trickling in, he asked for a sleep over last night.
Gooning requested a special sleep over a few weeks ago so that Buddy could help her decorate her tree and get the apartment ready for Christmas. What an honor for Buddy.
They decorated the tree with all sorts of decorations AND candy canes.
Then Buddy drew some very beautiful pictures to decorate her door. Gooning brings out the most creative parts of Buddy. She just has a way of encouraging him to do what his imagination thinks of and making it special. One of their favorite activities is to write their own stories and illustrate them. With the Christmas picture he was working on in this photo, Gooning had bought a special frame for him to put it in.
Ella had her own special Nining time too. While she is too young for sleep overs, we reserved a special afternoon for just her to do some baking at Nining's house.
They decided to make my Granny's shortbread. Ella LOVES to bake. Nining loves having little helpers in the kitchen. It was sweet.
And, Gooning/Nining is the perfect grandmother to have. She doesn't care about mess, only about having fun and sharing special moments. She's silly, which is what my kids love about her. In fact, on more than one occasion, as we pull away from her house, my kids will say Carsy Gooning in a tone that shows just how much they love her.