Today would have been my grandmother’s 96th birthday. She died seven years ago, well before I was preparing to become a mother myself. She was the type of woman who loved babies, didn’t like kids who got into her stuff, was always on the go, and LOVED a good dirty joke. We became friends when I was in my twenties. Until then, we pretty much tolerated each other.
I was one of those kids who thoroughly enjoyed going through her stuff. I would touch every piece of jewelry she owned, smell her makeup drawer, try on her clothes and shoes. She was kind of magical. She grew up in the mountains of southern New Mexico with very little material possessions, a bunch of siblings and an alcoholic father who died when she was just a girl. Until the day she died (and despite a diminishing mind), she was most proud of two things: her biceps (which she said she got from playing baseball with the boys as a child) and her love for my grandfather.
Since becoming a mother, I think about Meme Dot a lot. I wonder what she would think of my son (who would probably have a blast touching all of her things). I wonder if she would see my face in his, despite no genetic connection. I wonder if she would understand how we made him and that he is my son, too, even though he grew in S’s belly.
I think she would get a kick out of him. She would laugh when he makes silly sounds and she would help him into her high heels just for fun. She would sneak him mini-doughnuts and ice cream and plop him in front of cartoons (all taboo in our house).
I have been very lucky with having an incredibly supportive family. When my mom told my grandparents that I like girls, my grandmother’s response was, “That’s ok. I play golf with lesbins all the time.” (Typo intentional.) For a mountain-mama in small town New Mexico, she was amazingly progressive. It might even have been after I came out to her that we started to become close. I bet she would have struggled a little with who’s vagina M came out of. I bet she would have wondered if he was really hers too. But in the end, I think she wouldn’t mind if he touched her jewelry or tried on her clothes. I think she just would have loved him crazy.