Commotion. My 1.5 year old sits on her lap. He picks up a pasta noodle and flings it at her hair. She grabs the fork before he can, preventing a sure and painful stab. Slightly frazzled, she turns to look at me,
"I don't recall the last meal I ate alone. I have had a baby on my lap my entire life. When I was growing up, it was one of my brothers or sisters. Then I got married and had six of you. Now your baby
is sitting on my lap."
"Mom, let me take him! I can help."
"No," she says, laughing. "I don't think I'd have it any other way. "Just look at him."
On que, the little dinner wrecker plants a big, cheesy smile on his face, looks all around, and goes back to squishing steamed broccoli between his fingers.
This woman, this woman called Grandma. The third oldest of ten kids, raised in cow country in the 60's and 70's. And at nineteen, was married, in the little church up the road. Then came us. Us six. I know we weren't easy, I can remember.
I sit and stare at her across the big kitchen table. This woman who has soothed countless middle of the night cries, fed that many more bottles, who has taught so many little fingers how to count, and I'm in awe.
There are born protectors and she is one of them. There are so many ways to do this thing called life, and hers has involved walking through it with a baby planted on her hip, at nearly all times. Teaching, showing, caring, and yes, sometimes yelling.
She is beautiful as she sits there, grey hairs poking out behind the L'Oreal #4. I reflect on how they were all so very earned.
The evening sunlight streams in. The baby picks up another noodle and arches back to throw it. Grandma reaches for the little arm.Time marches on, sometimes slowly, sometimes harried, measured in babies that sit on Grandma's lap.
Nominated by: Emily Jessal