A Win-Win

As those of you who follow my ramblings know, our granddaughter is very special.  Keegan was born with ACC (click the link to read more about it).   Keegan has taught me more over the last 10 years than I thought possible.  She has taught me a different level of patience, perseverance, and poise.  Keegan and I have a very special bond, as I was her daycare provider from the very beginning.  We have slayed more dragons together, cried, and laughed until we wet our pants.  Our daughter, Maureen, claims that I can get her to do things no one else can.

So, Maureen and I decided to put this to a test.  Keegan has her own sense of style, she carries herself very confidently when allowed to express her fashionesta.  This past Christmas, Steven and I took Keegan shopping.  She’d been growing like a weed (Finally!) and needed a few things.  She looked fabulous and felt it.  We watched her walk in the mall with a swagger I never want to see disappear.  The smile on our faces as she walked ahead of us talking a blue streak, head held high, with a confidence I would love to have had at the age of 30 let alone 10!

Keegan loves to shop at thrift, second hand, vintage style stores.  The only trouble is when she is not altogether thrilled with the clothes that were sometimes chosen for her………… she goes at them with a scissor.  Maureen asked me to help stop this behavior.  So, with our thinkin’ caps on, I think we came up with a viable solution.  I approached Keegan with a win-win deal.  A win for me and a win for her, who could lose (with Keeg anything is possible lol).  I offered her the chance to learn how to alter what was left of the clothing she had cut up over the summer.  As I thought she would, she jumped at the offer.  I wasn’t finished though, (now for the win for me) she would have to read out loud to me in exchange.

Hmmmmm, I could hear the wheels churning.  The pause was getting lengthy, so I decided to explain that she would read for a 20 – 30 minute interval, then we would sew, swim, or play.  We would repeat that all day, with breaks from reading to do something fun of her choice.  You see, reading/writing is the toughest subject for her at this time.  Maureen had finally won a huge battle for a full time aide for Keegan at school.  It came with a cost though, the school has basically given up on Keegan.  They have basically thrown their expectations in the trash and are just going to pass her on to the next grade level every year.  Keeg’s no dummy, she saw what they were doing and has started to give up!  I just wanted to scream, nooooooooooo!  She has worked too hard to get where she is, I refuse to see her lost to the system!

While Keegan was pondering my proposal, Maureen was at wits end trying to keep Keeg’s progress from faltering.  All hope hinged on Keegan’s decision.  With a huge sigh, she agreed to my offer.

School is now out and I have every Thursday off, she started asking me when we would get to work on her first project.  Little scamp, I was going to have to be on my “A” game every Thursday.  I could tell that she was going to test my time management abilities every step of the way!

Today was our first whole day together.  Immediately she was testing me, if I gave in even a nano second I was doomed, lol.  So, I pulled out my baking timer, set it for 30 minutes and got started.  Keeg came prepared with the first 3 items she hoped to alter, her swim suit, and pool floatie.  My little imp was meeting me head on, ha ha.  The first order of the day was to read the first 30, then she showed me the dress she had cut the front half of the skirt off of.



We talked about what the sort of fix she was thinking of for this dress.  The next half hour was spent picking out fabric from my closet.  We even dug into the boxes of scraps that some day hope to be quilted.  She made her choices……


You could see the excitement in those crystal blue eyes.  But, she now owed me 30 minutes of reading.  I had the honor of cutting the fabric for her, she got to sew ALL BY HERSELF.  Luckily my Viking machine has the ability to slow down the speed of the needle, no matter how hard she pressed down on the foot, it would not go faster.  She didn’t waste time……


As you can see the pattern for the day, it was going great.  We ate lunch, read, swam, read, then back to the sewing machine……


By now she is chomping at the bit, all we had left to do was sew it to the remaining dress.   But first reading, then computer game, reading, sewing, and finally playing in the pool with Grandpa when he got home from work.  We got out of the pool and she gave a fashion show for Grandpa……


I received tons of hugs, I love you’s, and when do we get to do more’s.  The day was more of a success than I had hoped for!  She had read from her first chapter book (no pictures, all words) and almost 2 chapters!  As we read through out the day, Keeg was visibly becoming more confident.  She was remembering the words she had faltered on when she came upon them later, she was adding inflection, and enjoying herself.  Even more, she was comprehending what she read!  I don’t think it’s possible to express what I experienced today!  Keegan wore her “new” dress home with a spring in her step and excited for next Thursday to come.

I love being a Mom, but this Grandma gig, Wow!  Till next time, Cyn


About designbycyn

Sonoma County, California ceramic enthusiasts Cyn and Steven Gradek have worked in the clay medium since 1996. They had a retail store where they held classes and provided the essentials for fellow ceramic enthusiasts. The business evolved into producing for other retail outlets and artist. Which quickly grew and they closed the retail storefront and concentrated on the wholesale business. With their 3 children raised and on their own, they had time to pursue their own creativity. Cyn learned how to embroider from her Grandma Cirner at a young age. After that she found sewing, cross stitching, crocheting, well you get the jist, LOL. She hasn't met a craft that she hasn't liked. Blogging was suggested by her youngest daughter, Colleen. At first it was a battle to get her to try it, but eventually Cyn started to enjoy the exercise. The blog on Cyn's website designbycyn.com was limiting, so Colleen got her started with Wordpress. Hope you enjoy her Adventures with Creativity!
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