I never felt confident at parenting and with good reason. When the kids were little I was overwhelmed. There was no close family around and living in a kid-poor area, I was isolated. We won’t mention the fact that four pregnancies in five years left me batsh*t crazy. Unfortunately for the kids, it was also the time when I was “discovered” as a writer and was often invited to "humiliate" them in the national and local press.
It was a lonely life, not another kid in sight. I had to drive to the park, supermarket, playgroups. I had to even drive to the school bus because we lived on a long non-public road. Did I mention I was a poor driver and only learned in my thirties? I once made an illegal left hand turn right in front of a cop and when he pulled me over I had no clue what was wrong. He told me to keep off the main roads for a few months.
On the plus side, we were a three minute walk to Long Island sound where the kids learned to swim and sail a small boat that is still in use today.
I mention all of this because today I am getting ready to welcome two of my children and their children and I’ve been up since ten (kidding) cooking and getting the toys out. I may not have aced it as a mother but (surprise) I am a good grandmother. We’re all surprised by this turn of events. The grandkids like me and I like them. I like playing with them and talking to them. I think they are gorgeous and wise and funny and confident. They have taught this intimacy freak to throw in the towel.
Here’s what I made for them to eat over the week-end. I dragged out my old (70’s) Redbook manicotti recipe where you make crepe-like wraps, (made them this a.m.) fill them with a three-cheese (optional chopped zucchini) mix, wrap them like little fat cigars and cover them with a good tomato sauce and more cheese on top. I also made baba ghanoush, home-baked corn chips, lentil soup, pizza and medallions of pork. There are lots of organic greens ready for dressing and good ice cream for dessert.
Everything is done so I can spend the entire week-end free to engage and play. Redemption thy name is grandma.