Thin Candy Shell


Your mommy’s mommy chugs toward me on the carpet in the Capitola Mall her darkened hair long, short around her face, a mullet, legs swollen. She holds her hand on top of yours propped on the top rail of her walker. Liza’s hanging onto the aluminum leg as the walker lifts, pulls forward and slams.  However rapidly this movement is repeated.  It jerkily heads toward me.  You were laughing,  Montana-Gramma chugged and squealed Choo-Choo. Liza called out when she saw me. “Train. I a train, too.”

Mommy seems happy that her mom is here.  Montana-Gramma giggles and tickles you.  She shows me that she can play.  That she’s fun.  That you like her.  She let you drink her smoothie, a huge thing for her to share like that.  You tell me your tummy hurts and I suggest using the potty, mommy takes you.  Liza and M-G sit on the bench, MG rubs her swollen ankle.  Then picks Liza up across her lap and blows raspberries on her tummy.  She tells Liza, I am going to make you some dresses.  Do you want some dresses?  You look like a little boy, she tells Liza (me).  Plucking at the little T-shirt that Grandpa brought her that says NASA across the front, she says, these are boy clothes.  I know how to dress a little girl.

Mommy and you return after a poop.  Ahhh, you say, leaning into me for a moment. Today your mommy was supposed to get to your school for a visit.  She and her mommy couldn’t make it so they called asking if I could bring you to the mall after school.  Well. I considered.  I really don’t want to drive you out there.  But a hearing is Friday, and I don’t want the judge to hear that I wouldn’t even let M-G see her little grandchildren.  So I did it.  After 45 minutes of dashing around, hearing mommy tell you if you don’t stay close to mommy then a bad man could take you. (There’s another month of debriefing) Went to Chili’s to get quesadillas and broccoli and I drank a watery, sweet mojito.  Said good-bye and tucked you in car-seats by 6:15.

From a police scanner (heard by a woman with a police officer son) said the dispatcher announced that a woman with my name going up my street is drunk driving.  ugh. (Not true, obviously) I call dispatch, tell them I am the party of interest and  I want a breathalizer. Officer calls back and asks me if I am safe.  Hangs up after telling me he’ll call the grandmother who was worried and tell her that the children are home safe. ugh. ugh.  Whose story is this, anyway?  I was duped.  Never, really, never will I take the kids out there for a visit with their mom.  I am so angry at her. But what about the stupidity of drinking in the day. Yep, that was me.

And then Jan’s dad’s email threat campaign began last night.  He shows up with his bully on. Never a grandpa. These people are so mean.  And I feel duped.  Stupid.  Stuck .   And someday when you read this you may understand why I get upset at your mom. They threaten me yet have never offered to take you two. But I wouldn’t let them.

“I love my mommy. Do you love my mom?” you asked me.  I am so glad you love her, she loves you.  Is all I say.  (For now) My thin candy shell cracked open. gma

Leave a Reply