Liza is behaving more like a preschooler everyday; playing with you, sharing her ideas and you often listen. Joyful as you fly about like birds, make nests of gathered twigs and sit on them, draw pictures with trees, chickens and skies full of stars, and you sing the same songs in the car on the way to school. Her teasing seems to have subsided (Well, maybe not. I have been out of town for two days, so it just seems so.) But basically, you two are a team. I guess I won’t get rid of Liza after all. Remember last month I was done with her!
This unit you two have created helps you ride out all kinds of change. I remember. My sister and I were a unit. Still are. It saved us. She was scared, I’d cheer her up. I could turn on silly to cover my own fear. I learned to do it for her. She would listen to me and I to her, I watched out for her. You and Liza can do that too. I saw it happen the other night when I was cranky and shouted for you two to stop playing in my closet, knocking all the clothes down, scrambling around in my shoes. (I shouted about the shoes, because I saw what it would take for me to get back and under all the clothes to locate the pairs. I imagined my hurting knees and back.) And shouted at you two because I am old and cranky. When I was a mommy I didn’t think about my knees. But you told Liza let’s get out of here Grandma’s a monster and you both squealed and ran away laughing.
There’s no way to explain this to you … but I don’t want to be your mommy. I love you, of course. But not enough to hand you twenty bucks and kiss your cheek as you depart for your first date out my front door. Besides I am not a good long term substitute for a mommy. Believe me, someday you will appreciate a real mommy and/or daddy. Don’t you hate it when someone tells you what isn’t best for you. Without offering what is better. That’s the dilemma. Isn’t it? There’s really no other plan. And you may not like me at 75. I’m going to be too old and more self-centered. I feel it coming. You do, too. Out of money from daycare and nannies, short on time to do the things I want to do and sad that Grandpa and I are not easy together as we could be. I’m tired, often cranky and don’t want to do much of anything, but what I have to do. I hate the idea of going to swim lessons, soccer camps and gymnastics this summer, every summer. And you, of course are excited about these things, talk about time off school. Play and fun and a trip to the lake. I don’t care about anything when I’m tired in an unenthusiastic, unfamiliar and prolonged state of melancholy.
It’s hard that you real mommy and daddy won’t secure time for you, either. They have no follow-thru even if they said they’d take you someplace. I have to swoop in. My wings are about swooped out. And that makes me think about your first date. I zoom forward to best friends staying the night, buddies here for hiking and creek exploring, dance lessons, piano practice and soccer Saturdays. Today, I enthusiastically, I do what you need. I must have rocks in my pockets. My swooping days numbered.
I know how to do this. I’ll cover my fear. “Here and now is the only thing. You are eating pancakes with blueberries on top while Liza sits on what she calls the Grandpa potty. I can see that now and in awhile Grandpa will take you to the Family Day Festival at your school and you will eat a sugary treat, ride a pony and bounce in an inflated rental structure full of screaming children you know from preschool. I will get home before your bedtime. And we do it again and gain and again. Until we don’t. But today I smell blueberries. Today I will write a story for you. Today I will work, fly around and pick up a stray blueberry off the floor, pet the dog and hug Grandpa. Today I will love you all as much as if my heart bursts open” gma