My book is light enough to read on a plane or at the beach but hits on every concern you have about aging – with humor and self reflection, you don’t have to age alone. AGE WITH ME!
My dollhouse was holy. No one was allowed to touch it. I would know in a heartbeat if something was out of place. I made a braided carpet for the living room. I had a table and chairs for the kitchen. But I never acquired kitchen appliances. And I do not recall having a dollhouse bathroom. I drew pictures and hung them on the walls. I cut out a watch out from a magazine and hung it on the back of the bookcase and it served as a clock. There were no stairs. It didn’t look that much different from our apartment. But no one yelled in my dollhouse. In fact, no one spoke. It was quiet. It was perfect.
I was six years old before I met her. She finally came from Israel to meet her grandchildren. My bubbie came on a Sunday, her head covered. But when she was getting ready for bed, she took her kerchief off and I saw her brush her hair. She did not have one gray strand.
Monday morning came and I had to leave for school. I was reluctant. No one had showered me with love before. No one blew kisses at me and smiled warmly. This grandma, however, was not shy and she squinted her eyes, kissed my forehead, and said:
I thought that geshmackta was the name for the type of kiss she gave me, her lips closing in with a smack and warmth that started at the site of the kiss and penetrated my soul. It was only a little while ago that I came to understand that: “Ai, geshmackta” means “Oh, delicious!” inYiddish and that this grandma, who did not know me, was calling me “Delicious!”
When I came home that Monday late afternoon, my bubbie was gone. She went on to visit her other grandchildren. But when I went to my dollhouse, there was a bright pink and cornflower blue blanket on the big bed. Evidently my grandmother had asked my mother for scrap yarn and she took the time to crochet that blanket for me. I learned another important lesson about love that day. I realized that even though my grandmother could not communicate with me in words, she “got” me. She recognized how important that dollhouse was for me. She chose to make me something to show me that she understood me. And I learned what loved felt like.
Maybe that is why I learned how to knit and instead of making sweaters I focused my efforts on making afghans and throws for all the people who I love. When my daughter went off to college, she went armed with a beautiful wool blanket so she would be warm even if the dorm was drafty. When my daughter got engaged, I asked her to pick a pattern and colors and I made her an afghan as part of her engagement gift. When my grandson was born, I made him a cotton baby blanket and a wool blanket for the carriage. Then I made him a throw when he moved into a real bed. I just finished a blanket for my granddaughter. It is a dusty teal, the perfect color to offset her light complexion, burnt sienna eyes, and strawberry blond curls.
My granddaughter aptly calls blankets “cozies.” So, I am giving her the teal blanket for her third birthday. And I have a date with my granddaughter. On her seventh birthday, I will take her to the knitting store and teach her beginning knitting. On her tenth birthday, I will help her make her first afghan.
If you click on the link or go to MSK – Visible Ink – you can donate to the cause. The anthology costs $25.00 and it is all work by Cancer patients who work with famous writers to get their work to professional level. It is not only the body that must heal, it is the mind and soul, too.
My essay GOTCHA , where I talk to my grandson’s knee, is part of this anthology.
HELP FIGHT CANCER AND THE HAVOC IT WREAKS ON THE SOUL AND MIND AS WELL AS THE BODY. And enjoy the writing.
Mother’s Day is here! We have an unusual tradition that my daughter invented. My daughter and I celebrate Mother’s Day together the day before Mother’s Day. She devotes almost the entire day and we spend it together doing girl things. We chit chat over tea. We buy junk jewelry. We wander in and out and about town. We sit down to lunch. We get reflexology. It is truly a great gift because my daughter is so busy. I have to thank my son-in-law and my grandkids for sparing their mom for the entire day. It makes us feel younger – like when my daughter was in high school.
On the real Mother’s Day, my daughter is the mother that her children celebrate.
She brought me a card and flowers and asked my granddaughter and grandson to sign. My granddaughter sent me a “jewel.” My grandson who is older and can write, refused to sign.
“It’s Mother’s Day,” the six year old lawyer inside him said. “It’s not Grandmother’s Day,” he explained.
And the more I think about it, the more I respect his judgement to honor his Mother on this day! And my daughter promised me that he will get me a card on Grandparents day!
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.
GIVE ME BACK MY FACE
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!