A Lesson From My 90-Year-Old Baba

A Lesson From My 90-Year-Old Baba

"Do the little things, because those little things just might be big things to someone else."

In the midst of being a college student and preparing myself to go back to my busy school schedule, I realize just how much of the summer was spent being just as busy as the school year. I get so wrapped up in my jobs and my social life that I forget to take a step back and enjoy what should be important to me. I try my best to schedule my life so that I'm busy at least 14 hours a day. On my days off, I need to stay busy and get housework done or go shopping or have plans with my friends. If I'm sitting at home, I feel lazy.

It wasn't until my 90-year-old Russian Great-Grandmother set me straight. These days, Baba doesn't get to do much of anything. She's a tiny, old, white haired woman with a big heart and a lot of sass that stays in her house to put puzzles together and watch every news broadcast throughout the day. I make sure to spend as much time as I can with her and listen to the words she has to say. 90 years is a long time to be alive on this planet, so I can assume she knows this place better than most of us. Conversations with her mostly consist of her asking me what's new, and me replying with "nothing much" because explaining the latest technology or social media would simply take much more time and energy than I have to give.

This conversation with her was different.

Every year, the town next to us has a fireworks show for one of their festivals. She asked me to drive her the three miles just so she can sit in the car and watch them. Of course, I whip out my phone and go through my calendar to see if I have a spot available in my schedule for her. In the meantime she says, "You kids are always too busy to do the little things even when those little things are big to someone else." At first, I thought nothing of this and continued scrolling through the hundreds of color coded tasks that filled my calendar. Once I got to the date of the fireworks, her words hit me. I had to free a spot for her.

Then I realized how pathetic I was that I had to make time for my little old Great-Grandmother who just wanted to watch some fireworks in a car with her Great-Granddaughter on a Sunday night. My heart broke instantly.

I think the lesson of all of this is to slow down. Time is our enemy and before we know it, our color coded lives are going to be shriveled down to nothing. If there's ever a time where you have to choose between adult responsibilities or your family, always choose your family. Take time to relax and smell the roses. Take a walk every once in a while to clear your mind. GO SEE THE FIREWORKS. See a movie. Live your life to the absolute fullest, but don't make the "fullest" just be a packed work and school schedule with no time for fun.

Take my Baba's advice and do the little things, because those little things just might be big things to someone else.

Cover Image Credit: Spongebob

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Knowing That Someone You Love Is Going To Pass Doesn't Make It Any Easier

Death is never easy to deal with, not even when you know it's coming.


I met Grandmom Doris when I was around 7, so I've known her for the better part of my life. She is my dad's wife's grandmother, but that doesn't mean I loved her any less. I have so many fond memories of making soup with her on rainy days, making mini pigs in blankets in her kitchen before parties with our cousins, walking to the McDonald's that was around the corner from her house, hearing the ice cream man and knowing Grandmom had a drawer with "Mister Toftee" money in it, because she knew how much we loved vanilla ice cream with rainbow jimmies.

She told us stories of when growing up, and we listened to her in awe. She had such a strong voice and the best laugh, and she touched the hearts of so, so many.

I remember playing hide and seek in her huge house and playing dress-up with her old clothes. We did Thomas Kinkade puzzles together, and of course, we sang and danced together too. We always had family Christmas parties at her house, and we loved doing word searches together. When she got her automatic stair climber, my sister and I loved to ride it up and down and up and down.

From the moment she met my sister and me, we were her girls. Our dad would say he'd bring his girls over to see her and she'd immediately correct him and remind him that we were hers.

Last Wednesday morning, we lost Grandmom Doris. We knew it was going to happen, and we've known for years now that it was coming. But, that didn't make it any easier to hear by any stretch of the imagination. We went to visit her the Saturday before, knowing it may very well have been the last time we'd ever see her.

I knew her time was coming to an end, but I didn't know she had only four days left.

I didn't want to go see her at first. I wasn't sure what kind of mental or physical state she was in, and I didn't want my final memories of her to be negative ones of her lying helpless in her bed.

I decided to go, and I will forever be so glad that I did. She was alert, and even sort of remembered my sister and me. Immediately upon seeing her, I realized how much I had missed her over the last few years.

She had pretty severe dementia, and she struggled to remember a lot, especially towards the end. She wanted my sister and me to sing for her, and of course, we did. We sang her John Denver, and we sang her L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole. It was on her CD as "Mama's Song," which is what all the adults in the family called her. She even sang some of it with us.

When we said goodbye to her for the last time, she took our hands and she told us "I'll never forget my girls," and she wouldn't let go.

We'll never forget you either Grandmom.

She lived a good life, surrounded by a family and friends who loved her unconditionally. She was 89, and all 89 of her years were spent loving those family and friends right back. I'd give anything just to hear another one of her stories.

I am so grateful that I had the privilege of knowing and loving such a wonderful lady for most of my life. Rest easy Grandmom Doris, you were and still are loved and cherished more than you could ever know. We love you.

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