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The other Grandmom

She is Mimi. I am Gigi.

She is short. I am tall. She loves to make oodles of Christmas cookies. I bake mini-muffins. She excels in the small details. I’ve never even met a detail. Her nails are always done beautifully. My ring finger nail has a piece of mulch sticking out right now. She travels internationally and has tons of travel points. I have no travel points. She has a pleasant singing voice. You probably don’t need to hear me sing.

Mimi stands short at just under 5.’ I tower over her at 5’7.” When we visit together, she offers to take the very back row of seats in the van, past the kids’ car seats, because she can walk down the aisle easily. If I try that, I am hunched and get leg spasms. I say bad words.

Every Christmas Mimi and her daughter, Nikki, make enough cookies in one day to serve the entire state of Texas. None of them are burnt, and they decorate them, too. In the pictures they post, she is always smiling. This qualifies her for a halo in my book. I may make one batch and eat most of them before the sprinkles and icing even get out of the cabinet. Who am I kidding? I don’t even have cookie décor.

Mimi is detail oriented. She’ll take the time to fluff that bow to make it look special. She’ll add the little touches of flair to make a dining table enticing. I add a candle wreath to a table and call it a holiday.

Mimi is responsible for my first set of pink and white acrylic nails. Her nails always looked so polished and professional. Mine looked like they needed a good coat of polish.

We went to a nail salon with my daughter, Erika, and all got our nails done. I tapped them on every hard surface just to hear the “click-click-click” noise.

Mimi is always dashing off to Europe for business. I work writing in my sunroom; therefore, no travel points. This is not something she brags about. She has fun stories to share about her travels. I write humor, so we’re pretty alike in the funny story department.

On our last visit together, I caught a tender moment with Mimi and our four-year-old granddaughter, Riley. We were finishing up our tea party, in our jammies, when Riley mentioned “Beauty and the Beast.” Mimi started to sing the song. Her voice is beautiful, even first thing in the morning. Riley’s eyes popped wide open and she giggled, “You know the words, Mimi?” Riley sat on her lap while I filmed the two of them singing

“Tale as old as time
True as it can
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends unexpectedly”

I had tears streaming down my face. They rocked together singing the words. What a sweet, keepsake moment!

So while Mimi can sing, I make one hell of a tea party. It’s very fancy as you would imagine. The very moment the girls’ eyes open, “Tea Party” is the chant. They run to find the basket of little metal teacups. There are two designs. One has hummingbirds with yellow and green little stripes. The other has purple dots and butterflies. A battle usually ensues choosing cups while I make the tea.

Before I came to my senses, we had what one might call “a sugar party.” When I placed the tea on the little tray, I made room for a small sugar bowl. There was a flurry of excitement to add that sugar to the tiny cups of tea. One bowl of sugar sweetened exactly four half mini-cups of tea. Gigi got smart and began to add the sugar to the tea in the pitcher. Otherwise, there was way too much energy for Gigi at that hour of the morning.

Mimi is the grandmom who finds the most beautiful dresses for dance recitals. I don’t know where she finds them, but she has an eye for cuteness. Our granddaughter, Kaylee, wore a flowing lavender dress which looked elegant when she spun in circles.

She should seriously open a children’s boutique. I would shop there!

While Mimi and I are different, we are very alike in many ways. We both laugh at simple things, like dieting. We both love our family. We are both totally over-the-moon in love with our grandkids. We both roll our eyes, which are both blue…not both eyes specifically. We both have blue eyes. (I’m getting detail oriented!!!)

I especially love that Mimi treats my daughter like a daughter. Erika is blessed.

There can never be enough people in our lives who love our children and grandchildren, just like we do.

I am very blessed, too. I love you, Mimi.

— Anne Bardsley

Anne Bardsley lives in St Petersburg, Florida, with her “wrinkle maker” of a husband and two spoiled cockatoos. She’s still recovering from raising five children. She is so happy she didn’t strangle them as teenagers as they’ve given her beautiful grandchildren. She is the author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause and Angel Bumps. She blogs at

Reflections of Erma