Motherhood is the gift that keeps on giving. Grandchildren are proof.
During my recovery from surgery, my daughter Morgan and her daughters have been staying with me. Andie always greets me with a sweet, lilting “Good morning,” no matter the time of day, and hugs and kisses are showered on me by both her and her older sister Peyton.
Sitting in the den one day, Morgan and I were chatting, and Andie was engrossed in an alphabet game on the computer. Morgan wondered aloud whether there would be morels in my woods. Andie’s head shot up, she looked at us wide-eyed, and asked excitedly, “Elves in the woods?”
I felt terrible telling her we were talking about mushrooms, and not elves. How wonderful it would be if Grandma could offer elf hunting right here in her own woods. How delightful it must be to even believe that elves exist. We grown-ups are much too pragmatic about the world around us.
Later in the day, Morgan was fixing dinner, which included vegetables. Of course, even the sight of vegetables triggers the pre-dinner whine of “Do we have to eat those? But I don’t like vegetables (which Morgan herself called “benchtables” as a child). Can’t we just have carrot sticks?”
Morgan was feeling a bit put-upon, what with me as the demanding patient and the girls putting up a howl about dinner before the first fork was lifted. She interrupted her seasoning of the veggies, turned to the kids and said, “I am going to serve you cooked broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots 17,000 times, until you figure out that vegetables are damn good!” The kids were silent, as Morgan rarely raises her voice to them.
When dinner was ready, the girls sat at the table and tried the vegetables. Peyton said, “These vegetables are damn good.” “Damn good!” said Andie. Now the trick will be to get them to eat vegetables without swearing.
Grandson Harry, who is quite precocious for a four-year-old, is an only child, and as such spends a lot of time around adults. We have to be very careful of what we say, since his little mind is like a sponge, and we run the risk of hearing our conversations repeated later.
Harry goes to pre-school, where the teachers led the perennial discussion about what kids want to be when they grow up. Most want to be police or firefighters, nurses, doctors, teachers, but when it came to Harry’s turn, he announced that he wanted to be a sperm donor. I’m sure that led to some discussion in the teachers’ lounge.
It’s tempting to look at my grandchildren and wonder how much of their lives I will be around to witness. Will I see them marry? Will I find out what they do when they grow up? Will they still say a cheerful “good morning” to me? Will they still love me and hug me as they grow older?
It’s better just to enjoy them and their antics, bask in their affections, watch them live day to day, and wonder at the joy my own motherhood has given me through all these years.
Happy Mother’s Day!