As the holidays are upon us, I realize I have much to thank you for. Grandchildren are supposed to be a blessing and although they throw your “cool” factor right out the window, they teach us many things. I refer specifically to the grandchild you sent me three years ago. A lovely little girl, who is obviously influenced by one or more demons.
Thank you for her strawberry curls, cornflower blue eyes, and cherubic face, it has reminded me just how deceiving looks can be. Please do not make me do time in purgatory for when she drew all over the aforementioned cherubic face with permanent blue marker. I was on the phone at the time and didn’t know she had figured out the drawer locks. I can’t figure out the drawer locks.
Thank you for using her to teach how kind men can truly be. In particular the ferry man who looked into my car window, saw a child with a half blue face, probably assumed she was an extra for Braveheart Two, and accepted the ferry ticket with flowers drawn on it and waited until he was three cars back to start laughing at me.
Thank you for granting her the gift of artistry that runs in our family. Like my mother, my Uncle Bill, my brother, and my daughter, she lives to express herself with color. I now understand how the petroglyphs in France came to be. As I regard my Crayola covered walls, I imagine that in pre-historic France some grandmother watched a grandchild destroying her freshly carved cave walls with ocher drawings, shrugged her shoulders and said, “If he starts painting in the dining hall, we’re eating him.”
Thank you for using her to teach me how fleeting the joy of the holidays can be, as she removes in seconds, decorations that took hours to put up.
Thank for using her to remind me to remove the locks from the inside of the bathroom doors. And how to stave off panic when I hear the toilet being flushed over and over on the other side of the locked door, followed by the music of her hysterical laughter.
Thank you for the little fenced playground by the school where she can run out her endless energy without running into the road and scaring people. Thank you for the company of the other grandmothers who sit on the bench and together we smile at the children as we curse under our breath. Thank you especially for the grandmother I met who was watching three of her seven grandchildren that day and shared her strawberry daiquiri mix with me and the other grandmother there. We took a slug from the Cinderella thermos and passed it down. It seemed a bit early in the day, but as she pointed out, it’s 10 a.m. somewhere.
I admit that before she was born, I was really having trouble with empty nest syndrome. Thank you for teaching me that the cure is often worse than the disease. And I know that it is said that God doesn’t send us more than we can handle, but I’d like to remind you that there are exceptions to every rule. And I’d also like help finding the rest of my great-grandmother’s pearls so I can reassemble my only real pearl necklace, broken by either a small curly-haired liar or the Invisible Man.
To close on a positive note, I do love her, which further confirms that love makes us mentally ill.