I get my daily dose of poetry and literary history from The Writer's Almanac, read aloud to me by Garrison Keillor. His voice is so soothing and sometimes slow, it is hard to sit still for the few minutes it takes, with work and deadlines looming in the background. But it is so worth it, a great way to start the day.
This week I heard the poem, Grandchildren and it has been in my thoughts ever since. It makes me grateful for my children and grandchildren. Glad that I became a grandmother at a young age, young enough to enjoy them without the accessories of artificial knees and hips and wrinkles (as in the poem below). I joined the grandparent club at age 40 and have been one now for 20 years, with the little ones now ages 20, 19, 18, and 17. They no longer hold my hand or sit in my lap but will come in a heartbeat for cookies or fried chicken.
Today is the birthday of granddaughter Racheal, she turns 18, is a senior in high school, and has her whole life ahead of her. Happy Birthday Racheal!
Grandchildren by Olivia Stiffler
They disappear with friends
near age 11. We lose them
to baseball and tennis, garage
bands, slumber parties, stages
where they rehearse for the future,
ripen in a tangle of love knots.
With our artificial knees and hips
we move into the back seats
of their lives, obscure as dust
behind our wrinkles, and sigh
as we add the loss of them
to our growing list of the missing.
Sometimes they come back,
carting memories of sugar cookies
and sandy beaches, memories of how
we sided with them in their wars
with parents, sided with them
even as they slid out of our laps
into the arms of others.
Sometimes they come back
and hold onto our hands
as if they were the thin strings
of helium balloons
about to drift off.
~photo credit to Crystal Photography