Friday, September 24, 2010

on being gramma

Today I went to the public school to act as surrogate gramma to two Kenyan girls, Blessing and Esther. Their names are great, arent they? You should see their hair - rows of braids always fun and funky. Anyway, it was really an exercise in frustration except for the part with Esther and Blessing. Crowds of grandparents, a sweaty room, standing and waiting til a teacher's name is yelled and then scrabbling past a hoard of kids to try and find THE kid who attaches to you.

All in all, it ended quite nicely, with Esther and I eating in the gym at a table with two other gramma/kid pairs. Here is what I saw though. One of the grammas sat beside her little fair haired grandson, and proceeded to spend the next half hour texting on her iPhone. I don't recall one sentence of conversation until she said, "Well, I think it's time to go." At which time the boy stood up and walked to throw his waste in the can. What is the point of enduring all that bother if not to actually pay attention to your kid?

The best thing I did, I think, was obtain a second chocolate milk for Esther, since I could have one and so could she. As she swallowed the last gulp almost licking the container clean she informed me that the rule is only one, so this was great. Victory!

My own grandkids are all over the world. I don't (usually) feel sorry for myself about that. And today I was able to make two little girls show me their wide grins and stand in for their African grammas. It was a blessing.


Krissi said...

This is so glorious, Marilyn. Made me smile.

Krissi said...

Did I ever tell you that when I was in Uganda I stayed in a house with a little girl named Love? The woman who cooked for us all (and the one who braided my hair) was named Peace. Africa is definitely onto something with their names.

Karen said...

I love that story. I love that you stood in for her African grandma. I love that you let her have an extra chocolate milk. I love that you helped a little girl who could have felt alone without a grandma feel special instead. You were Jesus to that little girl.