Thursday, February 24, 2011

Superhero

My intentions of doing "embrace the camera" Thursday came to a screeching halt when our Mac has become bloated by too many pictures and videos. My hope is to find a way to post the silliness that transpired among Miles, the Cannon, and Me tonight...until then, something to whet the appetite. (I was going to go with transpired "between" but isn't that just in relation to 2 objects? I'm drawing a grammar blank. But among sounds a little uppity.)

Some of you have asked about my grandmother, and I think everyone for the support. Although I seemingly exploit my immediately family on the blog, I do try to make an attempt to protect the privacy of other family/friends. The Internet is a scary dark place full of cooties...and caches that retain data for all eternity. But I feel a strong pull to share her current struggles.

I have all 4 of my grandparents. I am thirty *cough* one years old...and the youngest in my family. And my grandparents, although I would dabble using the word "spry" to compare them at times, aren't spring chickens. They are all in their late 80s, early 90s (go genes!) Pretty remarkable, eh? I knew as I got older that the likelihood of a condensed departure of family members (that's skirting around the issue, no?) would happen sooner or later, and it seems to be sooner.

But as I've mentioned--with each year, grandparental immortality becomes more plausible.

My paternal grandmother, Lila, has been battling schleroderma and resultant congestive heart/kidney failure for quite some time. Just over the past few years she has acquired  a wrap sheet of conditions and concomitant diagnoses that would have your mind spinning.

Wait. She's the youngest of the 4...and is it my memory, or could she break an apple apart with her bare hands? This woman is tough. She ran a family farm. Even now, she barely has any grey hair (why didn't she pass that gene along to me?) She is the one who I remember playing with in the basement of their house in PA next to her HUGE quilting apparatus (there is an official name, I am sure...it was some big table with a quilt stretched over it), and we would throw these ping-pong balls with lines of Velcro onto a felt wall hanging (anyone? Bueller?). I was in about 5th grade or so (like, pre deoderant, no training bra kind of age.) I remember asking her if she liked being a grandmother, and if she would someday come to my wedding. And she said yes, but that she was planning on being more than that, and couldn't wait to meet her great granddaughter. No joke. It was at that time, I filed away the fact that if we ever had a girl, I would want to name her Lila. While I'm not sure my grandmother's dream will ever be realized from my uterus, I am so thankful they all have lived to witness great grandchildren (she tells me to "hug the boys" every time we talk.) I've never told anyone that story...not even Eric. (And soon, I have a story about Eric and HIS grandmother that he has never told anyone. Another post, another day...oh! how I can build tension!)

This month, on the 17th, I was pretty much convinced she wasn't going to see the 18th. And then she did. And also on the 17th, I become an Aunt (pronounced Aunt like Taunt. Respect the "u" will you?) to the most delectable little niece. While her name is not Lila, it's pretty darn close. And it gave me chills. Life is miraculous...just utterly miraculous, no?

(And she was born at 11:11am. If you an Ali and Eric connoisseur, you know that is like HUGE!)

It was one of the most emotional days--the circle of life as I called it previously.

But here we are. My grandmother is still in the hospital, away from her 90+ year old husband, fighting tooth and nail to stay alive (with some help of lots of drugs like morphine and ativan...thank goodness).

And I find myself feeling like that little girl in the basement more and more.

Miles called me "mom" yesterday at one point and I was like: "What? Holy bleepity bleep. Am I a mother?"

Okay, I know he's almost 3 and this shouldn't be news (especially at 5:45am when he is moaning MOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!!!), but does anyone else have moments where you have a total out of body experience and are like "I am a mom. There is a chance my child will remember this day." I don't know why, but it is crazy for me to think that just today might be the day that we imprint Miles with his "first memory." (Do you remember yours? Mine was of me in a room with Winnie the Pooh wallpaper in a crib, playing with a greenish action figure, and getting stuck in a blanket. Is that totally accurate? I have no idea, but that's what I remember.)

There are times I feel like I am a really competent mother. And other times I feel like I'm just playing one on TV. Or that I'm babysitting. It has nothing to do with how much I love my kids as much as it is about trust in myself. And denying I am an old fart who needs to be gifted cane tips and hemorrhoid cream as gag gifts on my next birthday.

What doesn't help is that the fear of losing my grandparents makes me feel even less like an "adult." When you are little and a grandparent dies, I feel like the whole elementary school rallied around you. Teachers hugged you, and you may even get off a day or two. As an adult, I doubt the CEO will come down and hug me (uh, that's okay actually), and one of my biggest concerns is having enough time to even take off if it was necessary. And that people will assume because I am THAT much older, that I am THAT much more prepared for the death of my family members.

Nope.

So, I guess the whole point of my post is that I've come to grips with the fact that as you get older, you have to be more willing to accept Superhero underwear. Sometimes I may not feel like I am qualified to be a mom, but I still need to wear the cape and "own" the knee high, primary colored boots. (Now, the starred bustier is another thing.)

And there are times that I really do feel like a real superhero...and other times I know it is a role I have to play. And on those days, I rock out to Superhero by Tim and the Space Cadets. Or as I like to call it, RENT for toddlers. Okay, I can claim that I listen to it because it is conveniently in my car's CD player on the umpteenth mix CD I've made for the boys (and if you are a recipient of any of my baby CDs, you'll have it, too), but I would ELECT to listen to this song in a line up.

But wait, I even found a video. And Mr Tim isn't too bad on the eyes, either. (insert some joke about x-ray vision.)

3 comments:

  1. It's a poignant post, Alison (and I hope you can figure out the computer memory issue...). A few points:
    I think "among" is correct.
    Grandmom is the youngest of 6 - 5 sons and two daughters.
    It's a quilt frame.
    I can't wait for Eric's grandmother story! My Dad just told me that his uncle's name was Eric!
    Cane tips and hemmerroid (sp?) are only funny gag gifts when you are in your 30's - by 60 (am I really 60?! unbelievable!) it's no longer funny!
    You don't feel prepared for losing your grandparents, and I don't feel prepared to lose parents (all 4 are dear). I never had grandparents, so I have never faced losing a family member, and it's a frightening prospect. Can we be strong????

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  2. I wasn't able to view the video yesterday, but I got it today. I've seen it at your home, I think, and it's delightful.

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  3. Tim's playing at Kindiefest in April.

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