Yes, that’s right. I’m a proud grandmother. On top of that, I’m an avid knitter.
Now, I know exactly what a few of you (you know who you are) are thinking. Something along these lines, I’ll bet:
The more charitable among you might be going more in this direction:
This formidable-looking lady is actually Grace Coolidge, First Lady of the United States, and wife of “Silent Cal.” Apparently the two of them spent many happy summers in the Black Hills of South Dakota. He fished. She knit. Sounds like heaven. (Seriously. I’ve always been a cheap date, and don’t require much in the way of entertainment.)
Truth be told, I know it’s a deep hole to climb out of, when you reach a certain age and admit to such ticklish things, even among friends, and there’s only one reason on earth that I would ever acknowledge them. And here she is:
This young lady is my granddaughter. The sweetest, kindest, loveliest, smartest, child who has ever trod the face of the earth.
She’s twelve now, and like most of the family, she’s very verbal and loves word puzzles. And two of the most special birthday cards I’ve ever received in my life have come from her. Here’s one from a few years ago:
And a couple of years later, I got another one. Unfortunately, lovely as it is in real life, there’s not much contrast in the colors on the front, and the scan looks horrible, but I’ll give you the acrostic:
And on the inside where she’s also enclosed her official fourth-grade photo , it says this:
Even I (who rarely run out of words) do not have the words to tell you how much I love this little girl. But I sometimes find myself looking at the few remaining, and much treasured, cards I received from my own granny many decades ago (the ones I sent to her fell victim to my mother’s dementia, either being stored inappropriately and ruined by mold and damp, or thrown away as she rid herself of what she thought was junk belonging to strangers), and I take comfort in the thought that one day, perhaps, fifty or sixty years from now, a lovely woman in late middle age (ahem) will pull out some old birthday cards, think of me fondly, and know I made a difference in her life. Because, if that’s not the reason I’m here, I don’t know what is. (Dear Lord, whatever that reason is, please do not let it be that I am destined to spend my declining years listening to nothing but arguments among my friends on both sides about who voted for whom in the Presidential election of 2016. I hope that’s not it. Really hope so.)
The other great treasure accompanying this latest card is, of course, the “4th grade pic!” Although it seems like only yesterday that she was sitting on the kitchen floor wearing the colander as a hat, my granddaughter became a very stylish schoolgirl, and looked like this:
Note to self: They grow up so fast. Treasure every moment. Take lots of photos. But don’t spend too much time doing a twenty-first century Lady of Shalott, looking at the images in the viewfinder and missing what’s happening right in front of you in real life. Because once the moment’s happened, it won’t come again.
Part of me wanted her to stay “little colander-head girl” forever. Part of me wants her never to grow up any more than she already has. Part of me can’t wait to see what kind of magnificent woman she grows up into, and what she does with her life. And I’ve come to understand that my favorite time with her is always the present, wherever, and whenever it is. The past, and the memories, are lovely. The future is exciting. But the present, and the gift, is now, and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it. So, off I go.
But before I do, there’s one more thing I have to tell you–
She has learned to knit.