We try to have weekly family meals. The whole gang loves it, with the slight exception of Critter, who hates anything that drags him away from playing….even if it’s an amazingly scrumpdilicious menu like homemade noodles or chicken and dumplings. I tell you, how he came from my womb is beyond me. And no, I didn’t drop him as a baby.
But during our last family meal, Grandma Jane couldn’t make it. She’s got one hell of a social life, that woman. She’s always going out to dinner or to shows or lectures or ballets. Her past includes such accolades as former congressional aide, former manager to the national chapter of Kiwanis, past president of numerous charitable and volunteer groups, and most impressively, mother of two exceptional boys who grew into mover and shakers. Oh, and me. But she tries not to mention that if she can help it. Two out of three ain’t bad, after all……
I jest. She loves me more than she knows. I tell her that all the time.
Back to dinner last week… Grandma was busy and did not join us. Critter was at the table with us, actively avoiding his veggies, and out of nowhere whispered, “Dinner tastes better when Grandma is here.”
My Captain and Varmint missed it, but I caught it. And if you don’t think I shared that little epiphany with Grandma Jane, you’re woefully mistaken.
There is something about having Grandma around, so entirely accessible, that gives our family so much more depth. It calms me, because she’s my ma, after all! She is a sounding board for Varmint, when her mama is not approachable on any given subject. She’s a safe haven for Critter, when he’s been constantly disciplined at school and at home. She gives assurance to My Captain that his wife might one day grow up.
It’s a dagnab shame that everyone is not as lucky. It’s sad that not everyone can go to Grandma’s orchard for a liberating run in the sunshine after a long school day. And it’s amazing that Critter, at such a young age, appreciates the value in having Grandma so deeply enmeshed in his life.
And not a bad lesson for me. I’d do well to take heed.
Let me promise you this. It’s not the orchard. It’s not the proximity. It’s not even the sunshine.
It’s her sure promise of open arms.
Someday I’m going to be that. The one with open arms.
There are people who’s life’s goal is to become president, or a doctor, or a school teacher, or a firefighter, or a businessman. Those are all noble professions.
Me? I just want to be Grandma Jane one day.