It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, or it was last week. There were toys in every store, trees in the grand hotels, and everywhere I turned, grandparents visiting grandchildren. The average age in our neighborhood jumps at least 20 years the week of Christmas; at lunch Wednesday I was the only mom alone with children, every other table at Frances was populated with happy grandchildren and adoring grandparents.
It’s a very short road to bitter, self pity even closer. There are no grandparents at our house and at no time does it smack like it does at the holidays. The girls notice and I feel guilty, grandparents being such a vital part of my childhood I ache that I can’t offer them the same. And try as I may, Jack and I are the here and now, grandparents offer children a sense of permanence and a place in the world. Grandparents are fun and silly, and they give us tradition and order, or they did me. Of course I must remind myself that those very traditions which guide me were once nothing more than my great grandmother soaking a fruit cake in brandy, everything has some delicious beginning.
And so this year we created our own Christmas, and it was a wonderful holiday. Thank God for my aunt who comes to visit her daughter, my cousin, who welcomes us all to her perfect Christmas home. But for Lynda, I'd be the oldest at the table, and I'm not ready for that. Lynda teaches the girls that because of her, we are all related, a real life example of what I try to convey to them, that we are bound together going up the tree. At five, I needed grandparents. Maybe the girls don't, but they certainly would enjoy the option.