Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tali's biggest fan:













I was just going through some photos that are on a disk in the laptop. They're actually not recent - from last year. This one is Tali at her Third Grade Writing celebration. We are invited to listen to the children read their perfected writing piece to the parents and perhaps, grandparents. The hands in the photo are that of Tali's Grandma (my MIL, salami dealer, eternal source of aggravation to her son, the only person known to have brought herself back from a near death experience with Tylenol and a bedside glass of water - my MIL). None of that is important. The important part is her relationship with her grandchildren which in this case, are my children.

I love the proportion of the hands in the picture. That about sums up her enthusiasm for anything her grandchildren do in life. She could not be more proud of Tali if she actually were on the stage at Carnegie Hall. Which I am sure she fully expects to happen - only her version is "let her live - to be healthy". My MIL still earns a living outside of some small pension and social security through seamstress work(she would die if she knew I shared this so - you know). She works for a woman who has a shop in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city - ask Pia - 10021. She works from her home though now and only occasionally - during the busy season. It is from this busy season, that she puts aside Tali's violin tuition which she has insisted upon paying.

The beauty is how their relationship just flourishes. Tali was so attached to Grandma - went crazy for her up until about four or five years old. She wanted sleepovers, etc. Then she went to school, made friends, started playing violin, in other words, developed in childhood. But Grandma expected it and took no offense. And anyway, there was Julian now wanting her attention too. The thing is Tali will still ask to go to Grandma's on occasion and who wouldn't as a child? She cooks them whatever they want when they walk in the door - from scratch. She plays Rummikub for hours with her, needlepoints, gets out the watercolors and they paint together. Really quite nice. The funny thing is when Tali (which rarely happens with Grandma) gets cross when Grandma has pushed too far. As in the other day. Tali went there after an indoor pool party and sleepover at my very good friend's. She was very tired and had napped at Grandma's. This was before the Holiday started Sunday night. Apparently, between rolling over, she was peppered with just a few questions - "Who was there? How is A's new apartment? Is it nice? Do the kids like it? What did you eat for breakfast? Where did you go for lunch?! Did Daddy pick you up? Where did he pick you up?" This I know because when Tali finally came to, quite cranky and I asked her one question - she said "enough of the questions, I'm sick of you and Grandma asking me questions!" Then went on to recount the above list of Grandma's. Grandma stopped, slightly widened eyes that displayed only mild shock and guilt on her part and without missing a beat asked, "Who's hungry?"

We all filed into the dining room.

24 comments:

Swampwitch said...

The photo is classic. I knew before I read the story those had to be the hands of a Grandma. I hope you have several copies made of that. What a wonderful memory and it makes me remember times I spent with my grandmothers. Thank you. What a beautiful way to end my day.

Tom & Icy said...

Gramma is very wise and understanding.

FelineFrisky said...

Grandma's always know how to recover quickly, don't they? Ah, Tali will remember those question sessions with fondness later. D :}

pia said...

Is she a Bubbe? Or refuses that title, which my sister and I found out isn't the greatest compliment in the world when we tried assigning it to our Mom, and her MIL--who feels a little too much like mine at times

Beautiful story---hands and words of a grandmother

And I would miss the zip code if I weren't there so much--hair and teeth

Imagine if she always worked there she would have laughed at all the old ladies stores

Now it's young, but the stores are always changing

Thanks G for the post and the walk down memory lane

cj said...

Aren't Grandma's wonderful??? I have two wonderful Grandma's that I have very close relationships to. I hope that my children are able to develop a realtionship as deep with their Grandma and Grandpa as I did with mine. Sadly, I know that instead of two doting Grandmas my kids will have one. Beautiful pictures - I am sure Tali will love them in the years to come.

Over come a near death experience with tylenol and a glass of water - she is a strong woman. :)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful picture of grandma's hands enjoying her grandaughter's performance! Most grandmas are wise and loving, understanding and special. (unfortunately I had to add "most" because my grandmother reminds me of witch in Hansel and Gretle - trust me, I'm not exagerating)

Your girl has the most beautiful eyes! I hope you buy a big stick so that you can push the boys away when she gets older!

Pavel

brian said...

Morning GQ,

I hope you are well and your family is at peace this season. Much love to you and yours.

Miz BoheMia said...

I have missed quite a few posts my dear friend! Forgive me!

I loved your ode to your black shirt... very clever indeed!

And I missed you over at Sar's! Sin of sins! Dios mio!

Happy belated Yom Kippur...

And this... beautiful. I am glad that your children have such a beautiful, sincere, and heartfelt relationship with what seems to be a delightful and quite interesting, not to mention strong woman... I love her face and there is so much in her eyes that speaks to me. I assume there are volumes you could write about your MIL, hmmm?

And Tali is such a beauty... one who speaks her mind for sure... I have got me one of those and though it is a blessing that they turn out like that you know we are in for it right? ;-P

Oh well, my nutty ones are acting up so off I go... lovely post my dear friend!

neva said...

in one sense, your MIL reminds me of my own grandmother, who *secretly* worked as a designer and seamstress when she first married my grandfather (she had been earning money as a model, but my grandfather freaked out and forced her to quit her job, but she was always into fashion, so she just shifted gears without bothering to tell him). those beautiful hands in your wonderful picture could have been hers.

this is such a lovely post on so many levels... and i know you enjoy a close and wonderful bond with your mother-in-law, it's not too difficult to see why. your children are so fortunate to have such a loving, giving, and from the sound of it, extremely Jewish grandmother! (stinky salami, notwithstanding)

what a beautiful tribute... and fabulous post. of course, i'd expect nothing less from my NBFF!! xox

G said...

Swampwitch: Those are the hands of a Grandma for sure. The hands that kneed dough to bake cookies, "chocolate cake", and kiflie for her grandkis. I know my children have a treasure chest of wonder memories with Grandma already. Thank you SW, glad to see you.

Tom&Icy: Gramma is - but mostly with her grandkids :)

FF: They do. That's why I smile because nobody else could say that to Grandma...except maybe Julian, and get away with it. I am sure she will. :}

pia: She never was Bubbe - always Grandma. She just shrugs when I asked her about that, it just wasn't a word they used growing up. Probably Hungarian which is (forgive me Ariel) neighgmomo. Something like that. That's funny about the MIL thing. Whenever I am in that neighborhood, I am amazed at all the changes, stores, etc. Now T goes to school nearby so I am there every couple of weeks for something.

Thanks for taking the stroll with me.

cj: They are. I never had one to the extent of this relationship. It is such a special bond indeed. Look at it this way - at least your children will have a special bond with one. Yeah Tali likes to collect and start her own scrapbooks (in creative spurts) so I'll have to get cracking with making sure we have copies printed.

My BIL and I just can't figure out why Tylenol won't feature her in a commercial ;

Pavel: Ohh - mean grandma. Don't like that! Thank you. Yes, we have a big long stick called a rifle - any questions?

Disclaimer: THis blog does not endorse violence, nor firearms excpet as relates to protection of the inhabitant's children.

Brian: Thank you very much. It's a nice time of year for us. Hope you're well too.

MizB!: I've missed you! So glad to see you. I'm just making my way back around too! Never mind, just nice to see you, my fave bohemian.

Oh I could indeed write volumes! Give it time...yes the strong woman thing has come to the fore with my strong woman, but we have a nice understanding of each other in the end. She is indeed a woman to be admired and emulated. I believe Tali may get her directness from her (which is a wonderful thing). There is nothing that she won't say or ask (and if she makes a little shrug and wry smile - look out).

Yes we are indeed in trouble, but let's stay in touch to strengthen our fortress of motherhood against these little beauties of ours. I'll be by soon (leave a lamp on in the window) ~ and thank you for your sweet words and good wishes.

Neva: You have a rich family history yourself - I bet you could shake a post or two out of it? (hint hint)

Well it would not be inaccurate to compare us to Marie and Deborah on "Everybody Loves Raymond" at times. But hey, if nothing else, I have a sense of humor and we've persisted to what I consider a good relationship.

She is a Jewish Grandmother bar none! She spoils the kids and then complains that they're spoiled (jokingly). For her the expression she lives by is "for the children". Really we all just pale in comparison.

Thank you my dear NBFF!
xox

actonbell said...

haha! How's hungry? Always the right thing to say:)
Tali and Grandma are a couple lucky ladies to have this relationship--how idealic. And I'm impressed Grandma's still sewing--I certainly envy that gift.
Priceless picture, great post!

Kyahgirl said...

I really enjoyed that. She sounds like the perfect Jewish grandma. Tali is an angel too :-)

First Nations said...

boy are you fortunate in your grandmas!
your daughter is going to have priceless memories. excellent!

DaBich said...

Out of the mouths of Babes....a smart lil girl. And a wonderful wise grandma :)

G said...

Actonbell: She's nothing if not practical my MIL, sometimes at the expense of insulting others - something I have simultaneously loved and hated about her. Yes her sewing abilities are amazing - she fixes all of our clothing for us. Sometimes she and Tali make doll clothes together.

Kyah - Thank you, I'm glad you did. She is the Jewish Grandma bar none! She and Tali and Julian are so much fun to watch.

fn: Sometimes I don't appreciate that fact enough.

db: The only one who can get away with it (besides Julian) and not make Grandma cranky. She is wise beyond belief - something I realized once I stopped letting her get on my nerves :)

Cindra said...

Thanks for sharing. You spin words together so well...and the image is lovely...ah, mother in laws...they do provide much material for writing.

Teri said...

Wonderful! I love the hands. Tali will be the best of you both...probably already is.

I love your voice. Thanks for stopping by my place.

Ciao for now...

Minka said...

I knew it were grandma´s hnds as well. Affection seem to double when it come sto grandchildren.
I am not surprised she is proud of Tali though. Which grnadma wouldn´t? :)

G said...

cindra jo: Thanks so much. If nothing else, they are a constant source of great material.

Teri: Thank you. Let's hope - with some of the infuriating stuff to keep the recipe interesting :) Thanks for dropping in.

Minka: Grandma herself laughs that she has patience for nothing else except her grandchildren. You're very sweet, my dear penguin.

weirsdo said...

That's great. My violist who won the weekend with Robert McDuffie also owes her success to her devoted grandma and step-grandpa, who not only paid for the lessons, but ensured that she practiced. I'm glad Tali has that extra love and support.

Mistress Regina said...

Simply said, may you have a glorious weekend.

G said...

Weirsdo: It means a lot and we are so very grateful, but the payoff is seeing Grandma beam with pride any time Tali performs!

Mistress Regina: Simply said - the very same to you. Thank you for stopping in.

pinky said...

I'm super happy for Tali to have such good times with her grandma. I think mine and Pavel's must be related!

p.s. Your daughter is SO beautiful!!

G said...

Pinky, Good grandmas are worth their weight in gold. Of course some of that gold gets exchanged when they behave like annoying mother-in-laws, heh heh.

Thank you - inside and out.