I watch Jim Cramer whenever I can and I listen to him. I do not buy stocks based on his recommendations BUT I listen to his advice. I am a teacher, like him. He tells us to get kids interested in stocks at an early age. And the way to do it is by asking them what products they know and like. Well, after a sloppy explanation of what a stock is, and even I cannot wrap my head around what a stock actually is, I asked my grandson if he would be interested in the Walt Disney Company. He said he did not like Frozen, so he would pass on that hypothetical stock. But then he said he would like Netflix. Now why didn’t I ask him 2 years ago, when Netflix was still affordable? Then he thought: What about a company that makes…you guessed it: CHOCOLATE?
My grandson is learning about Wayne Thiebaud IN KINDERGARTEN! I found an exhibit of Wayne Thiebaud’s work at the Morgan Museum at the Morgan Library so I took my grandson in to the city to see the originals. Of course we had to head to the cafe after going through the exhibit twice, and of course , we had to eat dessert first! My grandson got the milkshake complete with whipped cream and I ordered the sorbet.
IF the Morgan Library was less stuffy, they might have considered calling their desserts the Wayne Thiebaud specials. That would have lightened the mood and connected the cafe to the exhibit.
They also had a Medieval Monsters exhibit, that unfortunately was closed to the public when we happened to be there. Wouldn’t a Medieval Monster Costume Ball in the cafe be a fun thing to offer? Wouldn’t that lighten the mood, make the museum more inviting and fun? In fact, the Medieval Monsters remind me of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Wouldn’t that have been a blast to have his illustrations on exhibit at the same time?
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.
My granddaughter sports a T-shirt that says: “Wild Hair – Don’t Care.” I want one.
When I was little, my mother would make me banana curls. But since I was a teen, I have spent my time blowing my hair straight. This time I went into the hair salon and showed them a picture of my 3-YEAR-OLD GRANDDAUGHTER. “I want hair like that,” I explained.
Well, they did a fabulous matching color job AND they gave me back my curly hair.
When we walk together, people stop and gasp: “She looks just like you,”they say pointing to my granddaughter. “Yes,” I laugh, “the looks skipped a generation.”
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!