FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Grandparenting

I’m weepy. My weeks with Mr. Poop-adore end Saturday, and I won’t see him again for two months. Right now, he’s on his play mat. I look at him and smile. His grin reveals he knows precisely what he’s done to my heart.

Early mornings before I get my hands on my Mr. Poop, I read about Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Ferguson—you know, the infernos. And that WTF (?)-horrifying hole in judgment—the nine-year-old girl who accidentally killed her shooting instructor with an Uzi.

Both the deliberately insane decisions and the stupidly unstable choices can be suffocating.

I’ve made a vow to stop whining—about anything in my small personal life. Because of the huge numbers of people who have legitimate reasons to complain, to be outraged, frightened, to become hopeless, depressed. I imagine parents who bear the weight of “The Talk”—with their sons, the necessity of having to list survival rules, saying words like, “Don’t walk in the middle of the street.”

Mr. Poop was unusually fretful yesterday. So much so, I renamed him Mr. Piss Pissedofferson. He’d squirm in my arms, open that perfect little mouth, and wail. I whispered sweet somethings, sang a song I composed years ago to sing to his uncle as I rocked him to sleep: “He was lonesome for his mommy. He was lonesome for his dad. He was lonesome for his grandma.They’re the best friends he ever had.” (The original version with “brother” instead of grandma.)

While I’ve been in Brooklyn, I’ve thought about all the grandparents who are their grandchildren’s caregivers, some only during the day, and others with grandchildren living with them. For many, this is the only option. There could be tragic reasons why—war, any variation of war, any conflict, like domestic abuse. Or illness, death from disease, drug addiction. Here, see this—7 million: the number of grandparents whose grandchildren lived with them in 2010. And that’s just in the U.S.

I sit inside, singing lullabies to Mr. Squealy McSquealerman, whose pissiness has passed. He’s now trying to out-vocalize me. No, that’s inaccurate. I truly believe we’re harmonizing. I want to put him in a bubble. Want to put all the children in a bubble.

Before I forget: I told you I’m a scaredy-cat, acrophobic. I’ve whipped it. Kicked it. I’ve been out on the balcony of this 13th floor apartment to stare at the vastnass of the night sky. There’s so much beauty in the world. And enough ugliness to destroy it. I look up, feeling helpless to change much of anything, but I wish you peace, wish each of you peace. Oh, dear. Spell Check isn’t working. I’m not complaining; just splaining.

Missy Beattie can be reached at missybeat@gmail.com.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 24, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
A Letter From Iowa
Jim Kavanagh
Aftermath: The Iran War After the Soleimani Assassination
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Camp by the Lake
Chuck Churchill
The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It?
Robert Hunziker
A Climate Time Bomb With Trump’s Name Inscribed
Andrew Levine
Trump: The King
Jess Franklin
Globalizing the War on Indigenous People: Bolsonaro and Modi
James Graham
From Paris, With Tear Gas…
Rob Urie
Why the Primaries Matter
Dan Bacher
Will the Extinction of Delta Smelt Be Governor Gavin Newsom’s Environmental Legacy?
Ramzy Baroud
In the Name of “Israel’s Security”: Retreating US Gives Israel Billions More in Military Funding
Vijay Prashad
What the Right Wing in Latin America Means by Democracy Is Violence
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Biden’s Shameful Foreign Policy Record Extends Well Beyond Iraq
Louis Proyect
Isabel dos Santos and Africa’s Lumpen-Bourgeoisie
Nick Pemberton
AK-46: The Case Against Amy Klobuchar
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Promtheus’ Fire: Climate Change in the Time of Willful Ignorance
Linn Washington Jr.
Waiting for Justice in New Jersey
Ralph Nader
Pelosi’s Choice: Enough for Trump’s Impeachment but not going All Out for Removal
Mike Garrity – Jason Christensen
Don’t Kill 72 Grizzly Bears So Cattle Can Graze on Public Lands
Joseph Natoli
Who’s Speaking?
Kavaljit Singh
The US-China Trade Deal is Mostly Symbolic
Cesar Chelala
The Coronavirus Serious Public Health Threat in China
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Must Remain Vigilant and on Guard Against US Hybrid Warfare
Robert Fantina
Impeachment as a Distraction
Courtney Bourgoin
What We Lose When We Lose Wildlife
Mark Ashwill
Why Constructive Criticism of the US is Not Anti-American
Daniel Warner
Charlie Chaplin and Truly Modern Times
Manuel Perez-Rocha
How NAFTA 2.0 Boosts Fossil Fuel Polluters, Particularly in Mexico
Dean Baker
What Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace With Productivity
Mel Gurtov
India’s Failed Democracy
Thomas Knapp
US v. Sineneng-Smith: Does Immigration Law Trump Free Speech?
Winslow Myers
Turning Point: The new documentary “Coup 53”
Jeff Mackler
U.S. vs. Iran: Which Side are You On?
Sam Pizzigati
Braggadocio in the White House, Carcinogens in Our Neighborhoods
Christopher Brauchli
The Company Trump Keeps
Julian Vigo
Why Student Debt is a Human Rights Issue
Ramzy Baroud
These Chains Will Be Broken
Chris Wright
A Modest Proposal for Socialist Revolution
Thomas Barker
The Slow Death of European Social Democracy: How Corbynism Bucked the Trend
Nicky Reid
It’s Time to Bring the War Home Again
Michelle Valadez
Amy Klobuchar isn’t Green
David Swanson
CNN Poll: Sanders Is The Most Electable
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Dire Need for “Creative Extremists”—MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Jill Richardson
‘Little Women’ and the American Attitude Toward Poverty
David Yearsley
Watching Star Wars in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail