Through Any Given Door ~ Catherine Sevenau

Catherine Sevenau Catherine Sevenau is a writer, humorist, and storyteller living in Sonoma, California. The stories in this series are excerpts from her book, Through Any Given Door, a Family Memoir. The full memoir is available as a web series at A longtime Realtor and Owner/Broker at CENTURY 21 Wine Country, she can be reached at [email protected]


More conversations with grandkids

Posted on July 10, 2019 by Catherine Sevenau

Righteous Indignation ~ I pick up my granddaughter from school on her third day of kindergarten.
“So, how was it?”
“Well,” she says, arms akimbo, “they have a lot of rules here.”
“Like what?
“You can’t throw rocks, you can’t throw the bark, you can’t tear the leaves off the bushes, you can’t climb the trees, and you can’t jump off the merry-go-round when it’s moving. You can’t do anything here!” she snorts indignantly. 
“Could you do all that when you were in pre-school?”
“Sure, you could do whatever you wanted in pre-school!”
“Ahhh, I see. So how many kids are in your class?”
“That’s a small class. How many boys and how many girls?”
“Seven boys and eight girls.”
 I note she’s inherited my math skills.
If the remainder of the school year goes this way, I imagine she’ll be spending a good part of her education in time-out. She can use the quiet time to work on her numbers.
September 2013

A Three-Pointer ~ “Oma, I don’t think my coach likes me.”
“He’s not very nice to me, he hollers, and I don’t get to play much.”
“Listen, I’m going to give you some advice. First off, quit taking it personally. He’s your coach and that’s what coaches do. He’s not there to be your friend. And, maybe he really is a mean guy. So? There are lots of mean guys out there. Someday you’re going to have a boss that’s not very nice to you. Buck up, not everyone’s going to treat you like the golden boy. Maybe he’s preparing you for the real world. Some coaches are better with kids than others, and you only have him for this season. If he gets really mean, let me know. I’ll march out there on that court and take care of him.”
“No, Oma, no, it’s okay. Please, I don’t want you to talk to him.”
“I thought that might be the case.”

Cards ~ We’re playing cards on my living room floor.
Grandson (age 11) has dealt.
Granddaughter (age 6) is waiting for instructions.
He tells her, “Pick up your hand.”
In dead seriousness, she lifts her right hand and hovers it at arm’s length and palm down over the cards on the floor in front of her, as if we’re at a séance.
He rolls his eyes, slaps himself on the forehead, and falls over backwards in disbelief. “Ohmygod! Why do I have to have her for a sister?”
I’m doing my best not to snort my brains out my nose because she does NOT like to be laughed at. I pick up her cards, fan them, and tuck them in her hand for her.
We don’t explain. It’s better that way.
November 2014 

Fashion Police ~ I wore a skirt on Friday.
Girl fashionista: “Is that a dress or a skirt?”
Me: “It’s a skirt,” as I lift my top to show her.
Girl fashionista in disbelief: “Your skirt is clear up to your WAIST?”
Brother to girl: “Oma can’t help it. She’s from Kentucky.”
I’ll bet those brats don’t even know where Kentucky is.
November 2014


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