“Dreaming Big Dreams for Elle,” Jan. 24, 2017

The video is priceless. I’ve watched it a dozen times and it keeps getting better.

I am writing this on my granddaughter’s birthday. Eleanor Rose is 2 years old today, and every bit as lovely as her name suggests.

She has dark brown almond-shaped eyes, just like her mother’s, and golden brown curls that bounce down her back, and a smile that can cure, or at least make me forget, most any ache or pain or worry.

Also, I’m told she has my toes.

In the video that my daughter-in-law sent last night, Elle was in a diaper, fresh out of the tub, almost ready for bed. But first she had to get Honey, her baby doll, ready to go “night night.” Before tucking Honey in bed, Elle decided to strap her in her stroller and take her for a spin.

So in the video, for the next several minutes, they popped wheelies around the room, whirling in circles at breakneck speed, with Elle pushing the stroller and singing her heart out (her mom said it was a Monster Jam tune she learned from her brothers) and Honey hanging on for dear life.

I don’t know if it made Honey sleepy. But I can assure you that watching it wiped me out.

Elle has learned so much in her two short years: How to walk. How to talk. How to sing her ABC’s, count to 13 and ride herd on her brothers. (“Stop it, guys!”) How to understand the finer points of human nature.

She wrestles with Wiley, who is 4, and insists on playing “monster trucks” with him, no matter if he wants her to or not.

She goes to Randy, who is 6, and tender-hearted, for hugs.

She wraps her dad like Silly Putty around her little finger.

And if she needs anything _ food or milk or comfort of any kind _ she’s learned it’s smart to go running to her mom.

Also, for little things that don’t cost much, she has learned that if she makes her wishes known, they might magically appear at her door in a FedEx truck.

She has learned the joy of being read to by someone she loves, and the even greater joy of curling up on a sofa with snow falling outside her window and reading to herself.

She has learned to be kind to creatures who need her _ to her parents, her brothers, her dogs, her cat and even to her nana.

When we FaceTime, if I shake my hair at her, she will shake her hair back, noting with a grin that it’s our special thing.

She has even learned to wait until everyone is asleep, then stand on a box to turn on the light and ride her Pretty Pony.

All that in just two years.

I don’t remember, at her age, being half as smart or half as adored as she surely is. But I do recall over the years the people who pulled for me _ my parents and grandparents and several teachers, who dreamed big dreams in my behalf.

Having someone to dream for you can make all the difference. Elle is fortunate to have lots of people who dream for her.

Today, on her birthday, I phoned her long distance to sing the happy birthday song. To assure her that I am so very glad she was born. To watch her twirl (via FaceTime) in her birthday dress, ballet slippers and tiara. And to tell her that I love her “all,” which is as much as any human can possibly love, even her very own nana.

Later tonight, after Elle and her brothers in Montana, and their cousins in California, are all tucked safely in their beds fast asleep, I will say a prayer for them and for their parents, God bless them, who need all the help they can get.

I will ask God to bless them with abundant grace, enduring peace and steadfast safekeeping, for always and forever. Amen.

Most of all, for Elle on her birthday, I will dream big dreams. I’m her nana. That’s what nanas do.

And then, one more time, or maybe two, I will watch her birthday video.

I wish you could see it.


  1. Clara McMichael says

    Just love your writings…reminds me of my Great Grandbabies these days. We are so blessed and I know by the sounds of your writings, you are as well.

  2. Jan Davenport says

    I so enjoy Hearing about everyone. Children are so precious, and grow up so fast. We have three great grandchildren and don’t get to see them much. Thank you

  3. Kathy Kraft says

    Sharon, Beautiful post! I know just what you say is so true. Our Erin’s daughters verify what you write.

  4. Oh , my God ! Sharon I have not seen your grand daughter and I know just a few people know her in two years but your post made her internet star and I can imagine how beautiful her nana is!! She has explained each feature of her adorable grand baby so well and I know you could not go due to your surgery . God bless you so much more happiness! This column was so precious that I could not wait to comment on it right away plugging the battery of my lap top which is always less when I want to read anything precious . Thank you so much you really inspired me to love my grand babies , hug them always !!

  5. Judy Rivera says

    Oh the joy of grand babies! ❤️

  6. Betty Jean McNall says

    Love your writings, thank you!

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