People always talk about the love a grandparent feels for their child, in fact, my Mother-in-Law, Mattie even told me about it herself one day. “It’s just different than the way you love your own kids. It’s amazing!” What no one ever talked to me about, was how overwhelmingly great it is to see that love, between your parents and your own children.
My boys love to to to their Mema and Pa’s house. Steven’s parents are actively involved in the boys’ lives. The boys know that whole house inside and out, and they cannot wait until it’s their turn to get to go back again.
Sometimes we have Sunday dinner at Steven’s parent’s house and one of the boys will say something to Mattie, and she will look at him and just smile. And I know I’ve seen that smile before. I saw it in my Grandma Sharp’s eyes when I was a little girl at her house for the weekend. I knew her place inside and out. There were times, I know she smiled at me like that. As a kid I only half noticed it, as it was quickly forgotten in all the fun and excitement of being at her house. Tucked away in my mind, long forgotten until I’m half blindsided by it as an adult. As I see it right in front of me, looking at my boys. And the way I hear it in the pride Pa has when he tells you a story about the boys you’ve heard a million times or even witnessed yourself. He can’t help it, he has to tell it.
If we got to my grandparent’s house before my Grandma got home from work, we would always ask where she was, and Grandpa always said the same thing. “She went to Muskogee.” Now, we didn’t even know where Muskogee was nor did we believe that she was there, but he could get really convincing and serious in his telling of it, so much so that we probably looked at him like we were halfway to believing it, when she would walk in. When my dad is at our house, he’s always telling the boys something that’s completely not true. He’s very adamant, and they get drawn in and finally he caves and laughs and laughs at his own joke. The same way Grandpa used to chuckle with victory when we’d start believing the Muskogee bit.
It’s very surreal to find yourself in this middle place. Long gone from your own grandparent’s house and unconditional love, and seeing it born out in front of you with the generations that sandwich you. Finding yourself wondering what it will be like when those grandchildren are coming to your own house. Hoping that you are able to give to them, what you were given, and what your children received.