Dear Mr Sun,
It’s cold outside, rainy, drippy and wet. I scuffed out to feed the horses in grandpa’s rain boots and my big raincoat with a green hood. Its plastered with hay and grass pieces from weeks of feeding in the rain. It barely has any time to dry out before the next storm comes. Georgia and Metro followed along. They need something interesting to do. And they can’t paint, draw pictures or help me make bread-like you can! NO. Walking to the barn is better than sleeping on the carpet all day. If you were here we’d rain walk to the creek and watch it roar and bump over the rocks under the bridge. It’s the color of chocolate milk now. You’d be soaked and take a hot bath when we get home. I’d take a shower.
The other kids (your cousins) were here until yesterday. Now they are back in Boulder. Kalen got up yesterday morning and looked across the table at your grandpa, its his grandpa too, and said, “I don’t like this kind of Grandpa.” Its the only grandpa he has. Poor guy. He must have some idea that he was trying to tell us about. But that was all he said. I guess I am the okay kind for now.
I want to tell your mommy and daddy some things but feel so worried about them getting mad at me for bothering them. Sometimes I used to talk about things they don’t want to hear. I have to stop that. Now that you are so far away and your daddy and mommy are worried about things going well for the family, I have to find a way to chat, just fluff and kindness. I have been working on it. Bringing out their best. And believing that there is some. I thought I was doing fine, but then mommy was mad at me again. I don’t know what I said. Something about watching your spark re-ignite when you played in the pool.
I don’t really understand how to be a good grandma and also a helpful mother-in-law. She may prefer I not be helpful, maybe just kind, chatty and positive. Your daddy may want that too, although I am his mom so I want to be real and find out what he wants to happen and what I can do to support him. But maybe he’s over that. I have favors I want so I have to be very nice. I want them to let me talk to you on the phone and have them read you my letters (not these) that come in the mail and also to let you visit me. Maybe I need to come closer to being an invisible mother-in-law. How do I do that and be your Grandma?
That’s my job to figure it out. I am not going to save you, I tell myself. I am not going to change your mommy and daddy. I can’t save your sister. Should I stop trying? Maybe you both don’t need saving at all. Maybe I made up my own story about this. I’m going to stop looking for ways to help you. I may help; but secretly. And sometimes, but mostly act grandma-ish. Let’s think about what that means. I am going to be a nice, fun grandma. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll give you a call right now and try it out.
Mommy told me about being a peacekeeper in the busy trailer and how much you all need her. She has a plan for quiet times, like at daycare, she says. She’ll listen to Julie’s music with the kids. She’ll do it everyday. She likes to think about ways to help all of you get along better. I am very happy to hear that she’s focused on you all. She’s looking for solutions as she herself is in a lot of pain. She had two teeth pulled and has to have cortisone shots for her back. It sounds like she needs 12 more teeth removed before she gets dentures. You all have Medicaid and food stamps too. Good you have some kinds of help. I think our talk worked. I just kept telling her what good ideas she had and told her if she wanted to talk more about the challenging behaviors of the kids, I’d be happy to listen.
When I talked to you all you could think about was that you wanted a piece of bread. Yearning absorbed all of your attention. I talked anyway. Then the phone went dead. Bye, buddy. See you in February. I’ll start the countdown at the 10 day mark again. I won’t even tell you until your trip is a few days off. Maybe around the 15th or so.
Okay, talk again soon. I had to stop to check on a puddle that I found on the table. I wondered what grandpa spilled. My friend Ofelia came and visited with her big dog, Jordy, to play with Georgia the other day. She brought me a hot pink azalea. I have it in the middle of the table. The spill is next to it. I soaked it with a napkin and its yellow. Smelled it-ugh. Its pee! I stood back to see if Metro had gotten on the table and yes, his footprints are all over it. He stood next to the plant and lifted his leg…right on our kitchen table. Yuk, Metro. What do I do with an old foolish dog like him? What do you think? Pretty gross, huh? I wonder if this is a big problem or a small one to solve. I’d better figure it out soon. We don’t want potty on your peanut butter sandwich! EEEEWWWWW. gma