When Grandma goes gallivanting

gangstaMy granddaughter, aged three, is now three thousand miles away. (I am the one who did the moving. I’m now in London, while she is at home near Washington DC.) She stayed with me for three days before I left her, and I noticed something odd. Most of the time, we were together, having messy meals, ill-judged outings, and toilet tussles ( “I flush grandma” at unnecessary and inopportune intervals). Every once in a while though, she would be listening to nursery rhymes by herself in bed, playing with her fruit loops on the kitchen table, or mashing her play dough into a rug, and I would be somewhere in the house, doing something else. Several times, she’d shout out “I’m OK Grandma” as if in response to a kindly inquiry. Except I hadn’t shown any concern, or asked her anything at all. “That’s good” I’d reply, feeling guiltily wrong-footed. Her Aunt, my daughter, used to do something similar. She’d sneeze, pause, look at me and then say “bless myself” filling the vacuum caused by my lack of parental piety. Now another generation is proving similarly robust in the face of family flakiness. One day, with luck, she will tell others that her granny didn’t fuss. I aspire to be an international version of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny, but I suppose it is possible that instead of being labelled energetic, intrepid and creative, family history will record me as neglectful, self-absorbed and non-caring. Oh dear. Now, must get on…






About Liz Barron

Returned US Peace Corps Volunteer (Armenia 17-19). Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger, cook, painter, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveller.
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