By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
Even though her granddaughter is 19 months old, when Angie Clutter looks at her, she still tears up.
“She is it,” she said. “She is our world.”
Ella Grace Domico is her only grandchild, but the little girl is all Clutter needs to be happy.
“I thought it was something to be a mom. Lindsey (her daughter) is 22, but when Ella came along, it was like ‘wow.’
“You love your kids, but grandkids are something else.”
She lives right behind Ella’s home.
“She is so close but I still worry. Did she eat right tonight? I know she did ... she’s got this little pot belly ... but I’m still thinking those things.
“They’re both good parents. So I don’t know why I have these worries, but I do.”
She’s just being a good grandmother, she guesses. It’s a role she was meant to have.
“Oh, I was ready to be a grandmother,” she said. “I think I was more ready than her parents were to be parents.”
Ella was a surprise, Clutter said.
“But she was a good surprise all the way around for all of us. Ella is their world, too.”
She loves when she comes home from work and picks Ella up.
“Those big brown eyes looking at me ... I rock her to sleep in the evening. She’s smiling. She doesn’t talk well yet, but she says ‘mammy.’ She’s trying to say ‘granny.’
“That’s it. That’s all it takes.”
Clutter is frugal when it comes to buying for herself, but what Ella wants, Ella gets, if Grandma has anything to say about it.
“There was this dollhouse she liked. It was $98 but I didn’t think twice.”
Like a lot of women, she finds complete satisfaction in being a grandma.
“I think I would have stopped if I could have had Ella first,” she said. “She’s just like Lindsey. She doesn’t cry. She never has. When we go out to eat, she goes right with us. We take her wherever we go.”
Nothing beats doing the everyday things grandma and granddaughter do together.
“Being able to hold her and play with her and just her being there. When she gets a sucker stuck in her hair. She’s such a joy.
“She is the best grandchild in the world because she’s mine. God sent us this special angel. She is our world.
“She lights up our world from the time she wakes up in the morning to when she goes to bed at night. She is the absolute best.”
Being a grandmother is better than she thought it would be, she said.
“I get to see her every day. When she’s fussy in the evening, I rock her. I enjoy it so much more because she’s there every day.”
She’s the spoiling kind of grandmother, she added.
“If she sees something on TV, I go get it for her. She gets toys every two weeks.
“But she’s not spoiled. Now, my daughter was spoiled. I’d stop at the dollar store every day to buy her something. She came to expect it.
“But Ella is not like that. She looks at what I buy her in awe, like, ‘Grammy bought me something.’ She’s so proud. She’s not spoiled. She’s a good one.”
Ella’s favorite movie of all time is “Tangled.”
“We wore that DVD out. We watched it so many times over and over and over, we had to get a new one,” Clutter said with a laugh.
“She is a happy child. Very happy. Now, today she was a little cranky because she has two back jaw teeth coming in. That’s why she was cranky, and we knew it.”
Clutter said she didn’t get to see her grandparents much when she was growing up.
“They lived at Seneca Rocks. So we saw them only on major holidays because it was such a long distance.
“That’s why I enjoy being with Ella. She’s our world.
“She’s the reason I get up in the morning. I go to work and come home and there she is with a big smile. I know she will be there waiting for me with those big brown eyes, smiling, holding her arms out to play.”
Clutter was there when Ella was born.
“It was wonderful to see her born. Just unbelievable. As soon as she came out, we knew it would be a whole new world ... Ella’s world.”
Being a grandmother is a job she heartily recommends.
“I don’t know anybody who would not want to be a grandmother,” she said. “The feeling is one of a kind. I say that to everybody. I enjoy every moment of it. As tired as I am sometimes after work, it all goes away as soon as I see her.”
Holding newborn Ella in her arms brought back warm memories for her.
“I forgot all about babies, how tiny they are. Ella is talking now. You can’t understand half of what she says, but she expects me to understand. It’s gibberish right now, but she’s getting there.
“And she sings, too. She knows the next word in songs. She knows her eyes, nose and ears. She’s doing well.
“But I don’t want to think about kindergarten.
“I never thought I could love anyone as much as I love my granddaughter. I love Lindsey with everything, but with Ella, it’s different. I would do anything for her.
“My world is complete with Ella.”
Email Debra Minor Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.