I got to sit in Johanna Hurwitz’s study and chat with her for almost two hours. Johanna Hurwitz, author of CLASS CLOWN, ALI BABA BERNSTEIN, ALDO APPLESAUCE AND MORE THAN 70 OTHER BOOKS, is my hero. This invite came via mutual friends who read my book. I had taken a workshop with Johanna years ago.
Anyway, my daughter sent the principal of my grandson’s school Johanna’s proposal. I am praying that Johanna Hurwitz, who is one of my daughter’s beloved authors, and is now my grandson’s and granddaughter’s beloved author, will be a guest speaker at my my grandson’s school. I will post when this will actually happen.
IF YOU HAVE GRANDKIDS, GO TO AMAZON.COM AND PURCHASE HER BOOKS AS GIFTS. YOUR OWN KIDS WILL THANK YOU FOR REMINDING THEM OF SOME OF THEIR CHILDHOOD FAVORITES.
I have come to the conclusion that there is a narcissist inside each and every one of us. My granddaughter— well, she looks like me. Even though she has her dad’s nose and his mother’s round face, she looks like me. Even though she is built a little chunky and she has sturdy legs and feet, and I have thin legs and high arches, she looks like me. She does not have my blue eyes. But she has my hair. Her hair is curly and wavy. It has a wildness to it. It needs work. But after a bit of detangler and after someone runs a comb through it, and after someone twists a little piece and puts a ribbon in, she is striking.
She has my look, my expressions, my feistiness. She is charming and likes to laugh. She likes to make others laugh. She is engaging and she can hold a conversation.
I had plucked a wild chin hair and it left a mark. June noticed it when I was changing her diaper.
“What’s that boo-boo?” she asked with sweet compassion. She reached up and gently pulled my face down and said:
“I want to kiss that boo-boo.” And she did.
Then she squirmed off the bed with an intent look on her face. She has something to do and somewhere she has to be. She is two and a half.
Dare to cross her, and she will give you a piece of her mind. On occasion, she is known to scream:
“Get out of here! I didn’t ask for YOU!”
I cannot help it.
“Give me back my face,” I say mildly amused. She laughs and pretends to rip her face off and put it on my head.
“Give me back my hair,” I continue in awe that my looks and possibly my personality skipped a generation. She is undeniably a part of me. She pretends to pull her hair out and puts it on me. But in a split second she takes back both her face and her hair.
I look at her and I see a little me. And I can’t help but be a little narcissistic and ever so proud!
We were back in our house helping the adult kids pack up when the sobs slowly subsided into sniffles. I gave Graham a first aid kit with HUGE Band-Aids and Bacitracin so he could feel more in control. I wanted to say something to help. I bided my time. I have learned that when I am slightly removed, I can see things I cannot see when I am too closely involved. But, I am careful, very careful, to try NOT to step on my daughter’s toes. So I waited.
Then I said: “ Graham, can I talk to your knee?”
(Even my daughter was curious and could not think me as a butt-in-ski.)
Intrigued, he answered: “Yes!”
I said: “Knee, you do not have the power to ruin my grandson’s day. Knee, you cannot take away what my Graham has accomplished today. He swam twelve strokes all by himself!”
Graham smiled through the last of his tears.
And then he looked at me and winked: “Gotcha!” he said.
A few weeks later I was shocked when my dermatologist found something on the back of my calf. Over three years had gone by since I had surgery for melanoma. I go to the dermatologist religiously. I had seen my local dermatologist less than three months prior.
The dermatologist showed me the area of concern. I saw something red the size of a period.
“I just shaved.” I said. “And I probably nicked myself.”
“I have to biopsy it,” the dermatologist insisted. I knew in my heart it would come back as another melanoma.
It did and I was sad and angry. I remembered my grandson and his boo-boo. I wanted to say: “Melanoma, I will not let you take away my joy, my accomplishments, my work, my joy, my life.”
Instead, I went into MSK and had surgery.
“GOTCHA!” I said to my boo-boo.
Our grandson and granddaughter spent a few days with us while our daughter worked extra hours to make extra money that would pay for her family vacation. My husband and I took the kids to the local pool and split up to take turns monitoring the little one at the kiddie pool and the older one in the big pool.
I was in the 3-foot deep section with my grandson, who although he thinks he is, is not a real swimmer yet. He jumped in. He swam three strokes. I high-fived him. He got out and jumped in again. This time he swam five strokes. He repeated this again and again and again. I held my breath when he swam his first 12 strokes on his own. TWELVE! Sure his form was terrible but a few lessons would fix that.
We went to get ice cream to celebrate. Graham saw his mom first. She had come to pick the kids up. She lifted Graham up, and kissed him and then congratulated him. She put Graham down and asked where June was. I told her she was with her grandpa and she started walking toward the kiddie pool.
Graham remembered something he wanted to tell her. He started to run after her. His clogs were wet. He was tired. The inevitable happened. Graham fell on the concrete and skinned his knee really badly. He got hysterical. (He is at that age when he worries that the blood will drain out of his body like the water empties in the bathtub.) He needed a Band-Aid to hold the blood inside. My daughter scooped him up and carried him to the First Aid Station, where the lifeguards cleaned his wound and covered it beneath a big Band-Aid.
But Graham is intense and he was overtired and generally does not do well with transitions and he had a great time with us and he loves his mom and it was time to leave and the booboo hurt and he cried and cried and cried.
We let him sob it out because we all know you cannot logic it once the emotions have crossed a certain line. You just have to wait it out.
I was raised to believe that all of human intelligence can be found on the shelves of our libraries. I have been told that my book RAGING AGAINST AGING is a mix of wisdom and wit. Anyone of the over 100 readers, please consider donating a copy to YOUR library. And remember, I donate a portion of proceedings to Memorial Sloan Kettering for cancer research for the sake of my children and grandchildren.
My daughter has a galley kitchen. Hers is modern and sleek. This kitchen for the HABA doll family is the exact blueprint of my daughter’s kitchen even if it is a bit old- fashioned.
The kitchen has two openings, just like my daughter’s so that the HABA doll brother and sister can run through the kitchen just like my grandson and granddaughter do. The young dolls can drive their doll parents nuts just like my grandkids drive their parent nuts – especially when they are trying to get dinner together.
The HABA mother doll can now yell: “Get out of the kitchen!” WHAT FUN!