So there we were, discussing food, when Maddie asked where the cookie she was nibbling on came from, and both my wife and I replied, “Great Grandma”. Because that’s the truth – she makes wonderful cookies. Maddie laughed. “Grape Grandma…that’s silly.” “No, GREAT Grandma” we replied. Maddie laughed again. “Grape Grandma…” My wife smiled and left the room. “No”, I repeated, “GREAT Grandma”. More giggles – “Who’s GRAPE Grandma?” I sighed. And then I did something that I don’t normally do. I lied. But you have to realize, I was SO tired. It was either that or go into a long explanation of our family tree, which I’m kind of hazy on to begin with. So I replied, “Yes, you know, Grape Grandma. She’s a friend of Banana Grandma and Apple Grandma.” Maddie giggled some more. And that ended the conversation. She probably thought about it and concluded – yep, that’s my crazy dad.
I hope I didn’t confuse her too much. I hope she doesn’t grow up believing she has a Grape Grandma. Will this scar her for life? Have I just really messed her up? Oh, the scary power we parents have. I thought back on my own life and remembered hearing about “Candied Yaks”, a traditional Thansgiving dish. I think I misheard some adult, who had actually said “Candied Yams”. Well, for years I had this image in my head of a large stack of thinly sliced beef with maple syrup drizzled all over. Mmmmmm, yummy. When we finally had “Candied Yams”, several years later, I was dumbstruck. “What is this???” I was SO disappointed. They tasted ok, but they were no Candied Yaks. Some would say that this is all part of growing up – creating your own silly world to inhabit until you’re ready for reality.
I’m 42 now, but that silly voice inside of me is still alive, thank God. And that’s why I’m searching like crazy for a Grape Grandma for Maddie.