Midlife Cabernet: Posing for Pumpkin
Pumpkin, my darling six-year-old granddaughter, came over for the weekend, and I promised her mother I wouldn’t open any wine until after everyone was asleep. However, I didn’t promise anything about sweet treats, so we soon enjoyed a tea party with a few teddy bears and a pink platter piled with chocolate chip cookies. Everyone had a glorious time, except the bears weren’t hungry so we ate their share.
Later we settled down for some serious art projects. I can’t draw a box without a stencil, probably because I’m clumsy, easily distracted, and have no artistic talent. Pumpkin is quite the little artist and she created a magical scene complete with rainbows and butterflies before I had sketched a crude replica of a skull and some bones. She won that round.
Then she told me to sit still so she could draw me. Of course, I sucked in my stomach and looked dignified. Her rendition resembled a young woman with thick hair, happy eyes, and a smooth complexion. She captured my chubby cheeks, but without the wrinkles. And, I can live with having only one nostril. I loved the artwork and we immediately taped it to my refrigerator.
“Thanks for the artwork,” I gushed as only a grandmother can. “I like your vision of me.”
“I think you’re funny,” she said.
Then she started another project. As she worked on the new production, I contemplated her comment. She’s only been alive for six years, so what does she know about human traits? What does she see in this older woman who gives her extra dessert, tells tall tales, and allows her to stay up late? Does she comprehend that I am her mother’s mother? It’s all too complex for my aging brain. But I’m just tickled princess-pink that she thinks I’m funny.
My grandmothers were not humorous. They were serious farm women who worked from sunrise to sunset and then sat down to work some more. I vaguely remember helping them in the kitchen or picking vegetables and berries from their gardens, but there was not much laughter. Not even a simple giggle. Life was hard for my grandmothers.
So, there I was at the table with a precocious, precious little girl who came over with her little roller bag, her worn blankie, a book of craft projects, and her spunky attitude. She arrived with confidence and wasn’t shy about saying what she wanted and didn’t want. I know she will shine in the coming years, and I want to be there to witness how she climbs over obstacles and tackles life. And as she grows older, I hope she’ll still come over for cookies. I’ll try to be funny.
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