To Grandmother’s House
Have you ever experienced one of those days where you’re 2 notches (or maybe one notch) above comatose? Well, at least I’m typing.
Why, you might ask, would my state of mind be in such shambles?
The short answer is: For the happiest of all reasons.
Here’s the longer answer:
Most people who make it through high school have the obligatory photo shoot. Anyone who had a high school photo taken can relate to the one I use on my blog. To call it dreadful is kind. To say that high school represented 3 of the worst years of my life is reality. That’s one of the reasons I love the picture so much, it reminds me that being 17 wasn’t all that great.
Ditto for 30. I was a widow at 33 with 2 small children. That has to be a blog all its own.
The saying that went around like a plague when I was approaching my 4th decade was, “Life begins at 40.” I took that advice to heart, spiraling into a mid-life crises that lasted until I was about 44. At the time, I looked 10 years younger and actually had a butt. At 42, I would exercise by putting my 130-pound husband on my hips (piggy-back) and running down the walkways by Braes Bayou, a main thoroughfare in southwest Houston. With all the squeaking brakes it was fortunate there weren’t any fender benders. I was 110 pounds of happy at the time—for all of 2 years.
Back to 40 again. When my mid-life crisis hit, it was full force–complete with waking up in bed with a guy I barely remembered meeting at a bar. Wow! I was on fire (and almost fired from my job)! At 42, I married a man 17 years younger (piggy-back guy). Only 3 years later, when that divorce was final and the smoke cleared, the crisis of flesh was over and my attention turned to the crisis of spirit.
Fast forward to the age of 50 when I had retinal detachment surgeries (due to being coke-bottle glasses low-vision half-blind nearsighted). That was the moment I created a new saying, “Life begins at 40, but the warrantee runs out at 50.”
And now? My parents had one of those 3-foot by 2-foot “portraits” taken when they were in their late 50’s. At the time I’d wondered, “Why would anyone want to take a picture when they look like that?” In my 20-year-old mind, they were indistinguishable from any other gray haired wrinkly old person. Every decade their pictures looked younger. A few months ago I was walking toward the bathroom door and, for an instant, saw my mother staring back at me. I thought, “Damn, she looks older than her picture.”
One day, I’m really going to have to remove that mirror.
My BAID (My, but alas, I digress). Why am I 2 notches away from comatose? My exceptionally brilliant, beautiful, active, talkative granddaughter traveled from the city to the countryside with my son for a visit. We played, watched Disney on Youtube until I was too much a part of Ariel’s world, listened to her play with McD’s happy meal Barbie ballet dolls, and followed her around playgrounds to push swings, provide balance for see saws, and serve as spotter while she climbed.
During one of the many someday-my-prince-will-come videos, specifically Sleeping Beauty, my son said to her, “o terceiro presente ia ser o dom da inteligência … nunca o recebeu, o qual é uma lástima porque se não por isso então estas história nunca tinha tido de acontecer.”
Since he speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish fluently, (and my claim to fame is being able to ask, in 4 languages, “where’s the bathroom”) he was forced to translate…or suffer with a bad case of unremitting incessant non-stop mother-nagging (If you see a certain redundancy inherent in this sentence, you should hear me nag. You’ll wonder why I didn’t use more words to describe the horror of it.).
- He said he asks her, “Would you follow a big green ball of light?”
- My granddaughter laughs and says, “No, daddy.”
- Then he tells her, “The third gift was the gift of intelligence … she never received it, which is a shame because if not for that then this story would never have had to happen.”
You may wonder why that conversation is relevant. It helps you understand the answer to the following question: What was the happiest moment of her visit?
She was playing with her Barbie ballerina dolls singing, “Snow White, Cinderella, everything’s great in dumb-dumb world.”
When I recuperate from 3 days of happy, I’ll let you know.