Friday, September 16, 2011

Did Grandma Care About Me?

It was a sunny summer day in New England.  I was swimming around my cousin's medium-sized, circular, above-ground pool like a minnow.  I was about nine years old, loved to swim, and was very proud at what a good swimmer I was.  My grandmother (my a-mom's mom) sat in a plastic and aluminum lawn chair, legs crossed, and magazine draped over her lap; she was supervising the cousins in the backyard playing.  "Look at me!  Look at me!  Watch what I can do!"  I called out to her for probably the 100th time in a row.  "OK," she said.  "I'm watching."  I would dive under the water and swim from one side to the other as fast as I could.  For the 101st time I called out to her to watch me, I didn't dip under the water.  I decided to see if she really was watching me each time.  "Here I go," I said.  "OK, I'm watching" she replied.  But she didn't look up from her magazine.  She's not really watching me.  I grumbled to myself.  I decided that this meant that she didn't care about me.  Of course, I forgot completely about it as I went on about my day.  I recalled it again years later when I was babysitting and the kids I would care for would excitedly ask me to watch them do their ballet moves or their flips from gymnastics, over, and over, and over, and over again.  I know that my grandmother cared; she had probably looked the first 99 times and was just interested in her magazine.

Grandparents' Day just went by this past week; it reminded me of this story and made me wonder about my original grandparents.  I didn't get to see any of my grandparents a whole lot growing up.  I had three sets, my mom's parents and my  dad's divorced and re-married parents, spread across the U.S.  For Grandparent's day at school, an older adult from church always came as my "Honorary Grandparent" so that I wouldn't feel left out.  I appreciated this but was always very jealous of my peers.  Grandmas and Grandpops, Mimoms and Poppies,  Mommoms and Grampies, whom my peers were often younger, spitting images of, came in and took my friends home early from school.  They would go to do something fun.  Maybe mini-golf and ice cream.  Sometimes I heard they would go to McDonalds.  I stayed at school until the end and waited for the bus with my friend Leanne.  Her grandparents lived far away and she had an "Honorary Grandparent" from our church too.

I did not have any original grandparents waiting for me going into reunion because they had all passed away by the time I found my family.  I sometimes wonder if they would have been waiting for me.  I'd like to ask my original mom and my paternal aunt how they felt about the grandchild they never knew.  Did they think of me?  Did they talk about me?  Did they remember my birthday?  Would they have wanted to know me?

.........Did they miss me?

I would be happy if they did care about me.  I suppose if I were to hear that if they didn't care, I might regret asking.  I can't predict what the answer will be; perhaps I should wait until I am ready to hear the answer, whatever it is, before I ask.