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Monday, March 14, 2011

Petra P

Dear Me,

You’ve been doing a good job for ten years being a mother to two motherless boys. You are a lovely person to do that. No one asked or continues to ask you to do this at your age ( 61 now), but as there are no other candidates, what’s a grandmother to do? No one says, Petra, this isn’t easy (and it sure isn’t ) but look how well they’re turning out! Well, I’m telling you, they are awesome most of the time and it’s all because of You. You care about their schools, their teachers, their friends, their homework, their clothes, their food, their vitamins, their orthodontist, what to do when the school is out (again), their happiness, their sadness, their safety.

You could be devoting more to yourself, like looking for another job, or trips to the gym (heaven knows, you need it, girl!) And you could really use a new hair style (so 70s) even though you take them for their Bieber “trims”. You could be, should be, spending evenings with your own friends, your mother, or taking a cruise to Cabo, but instead you know how important it is to help the kids with their science projects and math. You organize boy poker parties, magic shows and birthday surprises for them. Lucky dudes, they have no idea. You’re the one who makes sure they eat vegetables and fruit. You’re just Marvelous to do that! They have no idea how much food costs, so I’m happy to see them eat everything you put in front of them… except the dreaded mushrooms. You could be savoring mushrooms in France, ma cher amie. You could be getting a French manicure twice a month, but it doesn’t matter because your nails would look like an old fence, picking up all the toys and washing all these dishes. You take them to music lessons when you could be reading the New York Times at the coffee shop. But the news is getting too hard to hear, so that’s okay, and besides, you are too tired sometimes to lift the New York Times. No??

You took care of them when they were little and when they had the flu and when they go to the emergency room from dislocated elbows and broken arms. The ER people tolerate you and know your name. So does the pediatrician. You are almost Popular, Petra… in certain circles. () You picked up their bikes and yours and shoved them all into and on top of your small car and had a backache for a week. You found time to go on field trips for social studies when the real mothers were too busy. You went skiing with the boys (oh, now there’s a story for the future great-grandkids, if you live that long, sweetie). And you’re building a “freaking” (their word) 3-stage rocket -- from a kit -- for them to launch and you had to buy more replacement parts that you messed up with the glue gun. Remember the full-moon lake hike you went on (into the dark with flashlights) to explore the wilderness but you forgot the food? That’s okay because they were just happy you were there, and besides, you found wild blueberries to sample. You are braver than Brave. You are stronger than Strong. You are grander than Grand, grand-mother.

And there were so many night-time stories you read, after the soapy baths, lying between them in the cozy bed you made for them and the stuffed bears. Hugs and goodnight kisses. They gave them back too, when they were little, didn’t they? But now, you have to live on memories of those bedtimes. Really, that’s okay, too, because they’re sweet memories.

You’re Lucky, Petra.


Anonymous said...

Petra! You are so awesome and deeply inspiring! To be so involved with your grandkids....talk about making a difference in someone's life! In this day and age we all wonder if what we do or say can perhaps leave some sort of positive imprint in this troubled world! Know that all your love and efforts are making a profound impact on them an all they touch! Thank you for your contribution to life! Admiring you! Marcia Costa

Iman Woods Creative said...

Petra... It is a difficult job to be a parent the first time, and I imagine moreso when you're the grandparent! But you've given them an amazin gift.

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