Saturday, May 21, 2011

In loving memory of my Grandmother

When I was a little girl, I remember sleeping over at my grandparent's house.  There would be fluffernutter sandwiches, chocolate milk, my grandfather's big bowl of Corn Flakes with a banana in the morning. 

One night I slept in the big bed with my grandmother.  I was tired; I wanted to snuggle up to her and go to sleep.  I asked her to turn out the light. 

But she was praying the rosary and she said I needed to be patient.  Because this was important.  She showed me the beads, she recited the prayers for me, she slipped an arm around me and kept praying as I drifted off to sleep.

I felt as though I belonged in her life.  And she belonged in mine.

When I was around 12 or 13, I was in her kitchen for Thanksgiving.  This year was different from others; I wasn't running around, bouncing on the beds, playing with my cousins or trying to steal a piece of fudge from the dining room without being caught.  This year, I was with the women in the kitchen.  My grandmother opened the drawer where she kept her aprons (to the left of the sink), pulled one out, and gave it to me to wear.  I slipped it on.

I felt as though I belonged in her life.  And she belonged in mine.

When I was 21, nearing the end of college, I lived with one of my aunts while I finished school.  My grandparents lived nearby.  They suddenly had a much closer view of the person I was becoming within my family.

They did not like what they saw.

And my grandmother told me so.  She took pen to paper and wrote me a letter.  I wanted to pretend that that letter never existed, that it's words were untrue, that the person my grandmother was disappointed in was someone else.  But I knew she was right.  I knew there was more to me than what she saw, but that I could not deny the things she said.

I found myself, again, at my grandmother's kitchen table.  I was terrified to sit there, before my grandparents, but I was ready to apologize and to hear the things they had to say.  I was ashamed and afraid as my grandmother poured me a cup of tea.

The first thing she said to me was that she was proud of me for coming to the table to have this conversation.

And, immediately, I felt as though I belonged in her life.  And she belonged in mine.

When my first son was born, my relationship with my grandmother changed.  Suddenly, we had a new connection, as mothers.  She talked about potty training, she talked about being a stay at home mother, she talked about the resilience of little ones as I worried about everything little thing under the sun (prompting her to finally say, having grown impatient with my never ending list of Things I Felt I Was Doing Wrong, 'You know, you really have to go out of your way to break him'.) 

My second son was born.  My boys grew.

And then my father, her firstborn, got sick.

He was 3,000 miles away.  Neither of us could easily get to him to see him, to know he was alright, to take him in with our own eyes, to hug him the way we wanted to.  When he was finally well enough to visit, just 3 short weeks ago, my grandmother and I talked about how relieved we were to see him for ourselves. 

"But the goodbye," she said, with tears in her eyes.  "It's going to be a very hard goodbye." 

"Yes," I agreed.  "It is." 

I felt as though I belonged in her life.  And she belonged in mine.

And my Grandma, who slipped from this world this past Thursday, was so very right.

It's a very hard goodbye. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Facebook: I just can't quit you.

What's so great about Facebook anyway?

Um, besides, EVERYTHING. 

(Here's where I admit to having an unhealthy love for Facebook.  Whatever, being a stay-at-home mom can be really boring sometimes.  Seriously, do you know how  hard it is to lose at Connect Four?  And how many pairs of Superman underwear can I fold in a day anyway?)

Here are a few of my favorite things about the Book of Faces:

1) I am ALWAYS up on current events.

Anything major that happens in the world, I know my news feed will light up like a Christmas tree with post after post about it.  Did *YOU* know that Osama bin Laden is dead?  Oh yeah, he totally is.  Not only was I able to rely on my Facebook newsfeed for this information, but I was able to enjoy relevant quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and Mark Twain, each of whom had the foresight to offer his wisdom on this very event long ago.  Now that's some good PR.

2) I NEVER need to watch the weather.

Want to know what the weather's like?  Don't sit and wait for's page to load.  CHECK FACEBOOK.  Guaranteed that 17% of your friends are commenting about the weather.  It's hot/it's cold/it's windy/it's raining/it's hailing or sleeting (bet your bottom dollar I know the difference), oh my God it's a FUCKING RAINBOW (wait for obligatory comment about finding the pot of gold).  This past winter, I rarely watched the weather because I always had Facebook to let me know that IT'S GOING TO SNOW 17 FEET OF SNOW, WAY MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE ANYWHERE WILL EVER UNDERSTAND, AND WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.  Thank you, Facebook.  Now I can go buy my milk and bread and eggs as required by law.

3) The hearts.

Oh, you know.  <3  See, means nothing here.  In fact, you probably think I just made some boobies.  Facebook takes the boobies and turns them into hearts, just like I prayed would happen when I was 12.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?


Now, maybe dudes are normal and they don't do stuff like this.  But girls know that the reason Facebook exists is so you can look up your ex-boyfriends, call your best friend, and tear him to pieces.  EVEN IF HE'S A FRIGGIN' DOCTOR AND HIS WIFE LOOKS LIKE A MODEL.  165 pictures of your honeymoon?  Don't mind if I do.  Wow, his wife REALLY needs to put on some weight.  And, HELLO, if God had meant for our eyebrows to be plucked out and then drawn in with pencils, he would have adorned our hands with tweezers instead of fingers.  It's important to note here that you MUST keep your own  Facebook page on total and complete lock-down so that no one can ever do this back to you.  Besides, you're perfect and wonderful and wasn't it his loss anyway, so what-the-eff-ever. 

5) The blatant misuse of the exclamation point.

Confession time:  my opinion of you diminishes 10 points for every cluster of exclamation points you post.  I will begrudgingly admit that there are times when A SINGLE EXCLAMATION POINT is warranted.  But this: !!!!!!! is just absurd.  Let's cut that shit out.  And, while we're on it, it's 'are', not 'r'.  If typing the two extra letters really wastes that much of your time, you MIGHT want to take some typing lessons. 


I love me some status updates.  I love reading them, I love writing them, I love commenting on them.  I. LOVE. THEM.  I have learned more about people in high school over two years of status updates than I did sitting next to them in the cafeteria for 4 years.  I know who votes democrat, who votes republican, and who couldn't tell you the difference between the two.  The very best of the status updates are the uber-dramatic ones.  You know, "So-and-so JUST IS."  It's the Facebook equivalent of sulking into a room, dropping into a chair, and sighing as loudly as you can.  It's passive-aggressiveness at it's very best. AND I LOVE IT.

Now, the OCD side of me is greatly disturbed by the thought of ending a list at six items rather than 10, and I would have more to say, except, well...

I have this totally awesome status update to post...

pst...Check out the doo-hickey on the right to take you to the Playing House Facebook page where you can become a fan and follow my totally awesome status updates.