Worlds away from the general mayhem of their Indonesian grandparents, my twin boys are the apple(s) to their beloved Nulla Nanna’s eye.
Nulla is the abbreviated term fondly referring to Cronulla, a beachside suburb which is located in Sydney’s south. Its coastline is scattered with sandy beaches, rock pools and nature parks.
So going from Northern Sumatra to Cronulla, lies the stark contrast of grandmas. Whilst their Opung (Indonesian grandmother) yearns longingly for the boys to finally be able to enjoy her spicy homemade Indonesian cooking; Nulla Nanna is keen as mustard to see her grandsons hang ten and ride the waves at her nearby surfing beaches.
To say Nulla Nanna is besotted by her grandsons would be an understatement. Like a loyal teenage fan admiring her favourite pop star, she has all of the twins’ memorabilia; There is the “Proud Nanna of Twins” tote bag, the “Proud Nanna of Twins” key ring and the “Proud Nanna of Twins” compact mirror. Not to mention the growing kitchen wall collage that is completely dedicated to photos of her little rock stars. I won’t even begin to start on her computer screen saver…
Being a tech saavy senior citizen, she possesses all the gadgets to help her capture and collect more grandkiddy memories – the digital camera, the computer, the blessed digital photo frame, even (though we don’t know why…) the paper shredder. Since the boys started crawling, there has been serious talk of upgrading the digital camera for one that will take better quality videos (Watch out, Spielberg !).
From the day the twins were born, our Nulla Nanna’s love and devotion has been unwavering. Typical of new parents, my husband and I were overwhelmed by the responsibilities and demanding schedule that were expected of us – especially as there were two newborns to take care of. But Nulla Nanna took it all in her stride. Without a moment’s hesitation she offered her full, undivided assistance. In our bleary eyed state, she always came to our rescue. And for that, we are forever grateful.
For the first 6 months of our boys’ lives, twice a week, Nulla Nanna would make the hour long commute from Cronulla to our home. Even when she was caught in peak hour traffic or had a car accident (twice !) – she would always arrive at our doorstep in good spirits.
You may think that such duties are the standard obligations of a grandmother. And you may be right. But Nulla Nanna’s wait for her first grandchildren had been a little longer than anticipated. Thus, their birth was all that more special to her.
Being a widow for over ten years, most of her family and relatives live interstate or overseas. So, Nulla Nanna keeps herself busy by catching up with friends, going to the movies, seeing plays and going to the gym.
Indeed, the arrival of our sons have created an even busier schedule for her. But as an observation, I think they have given her a little more fulfillment too. Her days seem to have that added “sparkle” and perhaps, unfortunately, the occasional baby mess. Nevertheless, she soaks up every single moment with her little super stars.
During one of her visits, whilst cuddling one of the twins, Nulla Nanna had the misfortune of having this little gromit regurgitate his chicken, pumpkin and zucchini puree lunch all over her pristine, crisp, white shirt. Later that day, when talking to her on the phone, checking to see she made it home safely, I quickly apologised for my son’s accident that had left a nasty stain (and smell !) on her shirt.
“Oh, don’t be silly,” Nulla Nanna said cheerfully. “I would rather have a filthy shirt and two gorgeous twin grandsons instead of a clean, untouched one and no grandchildren. In fact, as a keepsake, I might not even wash it.”
On the other end of the line, I smiled secretly.
Now, there’s a die-hard fan for you.