Friday, July 13, 2018

Being A Grandmother Is Not All About Freshly Baked Cookies. Thank Goodness

I hung out with two fine boys this morning and it was lovely.
Easy, too.
I think that August would be completely happy to be read to all day long. So we read lots and lots of books and Levon played on the floor or sat in my lap and then took a nap.
Here's how to get Levon to take a nap: when he seems to start getting sleepy, hold him and give him a pacifier if you want and then put him in his little swing and he is asleep.

You will note that he is holding a spoon. Throughout the entire morning I'd give him a bite of oatmeal every so often and let him hold the spoon and he was loathe to let it go. As May said when I sent her this picture, "Don't want to lose your spoon. You never know when there might be more oatmeal."
He's simply a happy guy. 

He's a I-can't-help-but-kiss-him baby. 
Well. To be honest, most babies fit into that category for me. 

August tried out some different names for me today. He's called me "Merm" before and he called me that a few times today. He also called me "Mary." I think he's just realizing that I, like his Boppy, have names which other people call us. 
And he can call me Mary if he wants to. I've always loved my name. I'm not sure why but I do. 
Hey! If if was good enough for the mother of Jesus, it's good enough for me, right? 

He did a few entertaining hat tricks for my entertainment. 

Clever lad. 

We cuddle-puddled with the big bear. The bear laid on me and August laid on the bear. It was very cozy. He showed me things he's doing in gymnastics class and also, a little yoga. I was quite impressed. 

After Jessie got home and I kissed those two little guys good-bye, I met Lily and her three at the Indian buffet where I also had a good time. I was waiting in front of the restaurant and Gibson came running up and slammed me with one of his extra-special, unique and wonderful Gibson-hugs. And then Maggie came running up. 
"It MER!" she said to her mother. 
Owen dragged behind everyone. He was having a hard day. I think he's already over summer vacation. I can't believe he's almost nine. When I think back on being nine, I feel as if I was already fully formed as an adult. I sort of had to be, living in the situation I was living. It was the year my mother married my stepfather and when my already scary life became far worse than I could have imagined it would. But I remember the feelings I had and how frustrating things were. I remember going into the bathroom and just crying and crying. I was absolutely scared to death to speak out loud about any of the feelings I was having, even before my stepfather began abusing me because my mother was obviously, even to a nine-year old, teetering on the edge of sanity and I suppose I had made a sacred pact with myself not to do anything at all which would push her over the edge. She was all my brother and I had. 
And so I was the best little girl in the world. 
But Owen has no qualms about expressing how he feels and good for him! But bad for Lily. As all children do, he takes everything out on her, knowing for sure and certain that she is always going to love him. After lunch we went to Big Lots where the boys were thinking about using their saved money to buy a little pool for their yard but none of them were right and they wanted to buy junky toys and Lily said, "NO!" on that and good for her. 
Gibson sort of got over it but not Owen. And then we went to the Goodwill bookstore and he wanted this and he wanted that and he didn't want this and he didn't want that and she finally put him in a time-out. 
He eventually decided on a book and so did Maggie and Gibson and as our ritual goes, Mer bought them their books and on our way back to where our cars were parked, I told Owen I wanted to talk to him. He didn't really want to, but he did, and we sat down at a table in the shade and I told him that believe it or not, I could remember how it felt to be nine years old and what my feelings felt like and how hard it was. But that I could also remember how it felt to be a mother and how hard that was too. 
"Owen," I said, "Your mama is trying so hard to make you happy and you need to try a little harder to make things easier for her. It's the hardest thing in the world to raise a good human being and she is doing her best to raise three."
He listened. I doubt he'll change his behavior but I know he heard me. I said my little piece and we got up and followed Lily and Gibson and Maggie to their car. 
"One more thing," I told Owen.
"Yeah?" he said.
"I love you." 
"I knew you were going to say that!" he told me. And I'm sure he did. In some ways, that child knows me better than anyone on this earth. And he knows I love him and I know he loves me. And it's not my job to get up in his face about things but once in awhile, I think it is all right to give him my perspective. 

I love all my grands so much and each one of them needs me in different ways and I can be part of their lives in different ways, however it is I am needed most, but my most important role in their lives is to give them one more person whom they know without doubt loves them with her whole heart. 
Who they know thinks that each one is tremendous and smart and gorgeous and funny and capable and unique and absolutely beloved. 
Which is cool because that's exactly how I feel. 

Well. That was my day. 

I got this picture from my husband. 

Now that's a fish. It's a red grouper and I'm really hoping it was the right size and species for him to keep because there ain't no better eating in the whole world. 

And oh! Hank did a quiz podcast for a guy who has other podcasts and if you want to hear what my son sounds like and what his trivia sounds like, check it out. 

I'm so proud of him. 

The evening cricket symphony is rising and falling with disparate voices coming in with harmonies to the chorus. The church next door is probably going strong but I'm sure their windows are shut for their air conditioning and my air conditioning is on too so I can't hear them but the summer praise hymns of the evening crickets are holy to me. They are splendid and magnificent beyond bearing. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. That moment under a tree with Owen is going to be something he remembers always. How special to have a grandmother who will talk to us like that. I think my kids had that in my mom, and it has made her so dear to them, even in memory. I know exactly the stage Owen is at. I too remember 9 very well. I had so much more power and ideas than I knew how to express. Frankly, in my very boisterous, dramatic family, I felt somewhat invisible. It was my quietest year, so good for Owen, expressing himself, and good for you, gently helping him guide that expression.

    1. I just want him to know that his feelings are recognized and to remind him that his mother does indeed listen to him and she loves him more than life itself and always will. This age is so hard- teetering between childhood and puberty. It's ridiculous how hard it is. This is so corny but I just want him to be happy.

  2. Before I forget, I can’t seem to link to an actual podcast of Hank. It appears as a logo. I adore you and your entire family. Your writing is so comforting and relatable and the love is palpable. There is something about the photos of August in the hat that remind me of Gibson. I think we all have come to love your grands.

    1. I should have made that clear, Joanne- it's not a link, just the name you can search for wherever it is you get your podcasts. Sorry.
      I love it when my grands are little goofs. Some are goofier than others, for sure, but I think all children have at least a streak of that sweet silliness in them.

  3. I can't believe Owen is 9. how does that happen! I love my g'kids at all ages though I think my favorite ages are 2-4. if I had to have a favorite age.

    1. He'll be nine in September but yeah- how DID that happen? I don't think I could name a favorite age. I love babies SO much but as they get older, they become even more interesting, of course, and it's all pretty wild, isn't it?

  4. Oh, Mary, I am SO sorry that your childhood was so horrible! I cried when I read about your talk with Owen. What a from-the-heart talk it was, and my heart breaks that your memories of being his age are so hurtful. But you taught that little boy a lesson whether either of you realize it or not. He's one lucky boy who's fortunate to have a wonderful Mama and Mer and I'm pretty sure he knows that. Oh, and I LOVE August's hair!!!

    1. Well, I survived. And of course Owen will but some days are just harder than others, aren't they? Not just for us, but for children, too. Owen and I also talked about empathy and what that means and how his mother has empathy for him and how he should try to remember to have some empathy for her. He's a very smart child. I know he gets it. But feelings and emotions can just be so overwhelming for all of us, can't they?
      August's hair is a hoot.

  5. I never knew my grandparents. I met my maternal grandmother twice in my life; she seemed a formidable, scary lady. Talking to my cousins who grew up knowing her, she was a wonderful, funny lady. I wish I had known her.

    Your grandkids are lucky to have you in their lives and lucky to have your love. It's always good to know that one more person has your back, no matter what.

  6. Talking and listening and empathising, both sides. That sums up what it is do humaning well, for me. Rounded up with I love you.

    My daughter was abused at school and is struggling to live now, at the age of 18. I often come back to you so I can know that she can have a future so long as we keep doing good humaning and we can keep her strong enough to find her way through it. Anna xx

  7. Good for you for talking to Owen -- I'm sure he appreciates, on some level, being spoken to like a reasonable human being and, if not an adult, at least a thinking person. (Not that his mom doesn't also talk to him that way -- I'm sure she does.) I can't believe he's nine!


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