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

August 05, 2020
Roy Eidelson
Black Lives Matter: Resisting the Propaganda of Status Quo Defenders
Melvin Goodman
The Department of Homeland Security: the Ideal Authoritarian Tool
Paul Street
Misleaders at a Funeral: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Eulogizing Racial Justice in the Name of John Lewis
Seiji Yamada
Hiroshima, Technique, and Bioweapons
Vijay Prashad
How Trump Managed to Lead the World with the Worst Response to the COVID Pandemic
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Alternative
Jonas Ecke
The Worst Hunger Season Yet to Come: Global Moral Failure in the Time of Covid-19
Rafiq Kathwari
The Battle for Kashmir
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Arch-Kleptocrat is Found Guilty
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
 U.S. Cold War China Policy Will Isolate the U.S, Not China
Lee Camp
Why Housing Is a Human Right
Sam Pizzigati
For Egalitarians, a Sudden Sense of Possibility
Jonathan Cook
Can Israelis Broaden Their Protests Beyond Netanyahu?
Thomas Knapp
Ten Years After Lieberman’s “Internet Kill Switch,” the War on Freedom Rages On
Binoy Kampmark
Staying on Message: Australia, the US and the AUSMIN Talks
Elliot Sperber
The View From Saturn 
August 04, 2020
John Pilger
Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now
Dave Lindorff
Unsung Heroes of Los Alamos: Rethinking Manhattan Project Spies and the Cold War
Kenneth Good
Escalating State Repression and Covid-19: Their Impact on the Poor in Kenya
Dean Baker
We Need an Economic Survival Package Not Another Stimulus
David Rosen
Globalization and the End of the American Dream
John Feffer
The Pandemic Reveals a Europe More United Than the United States
Patrick Cockburn
The Government’s Failed Track-and-Trace System is a Disaster for England
Ramzy Baroud
‘Optimism of the Will’: Palestinian Freedom is Possible Now
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Yale Faculty on Hydroxychloroquine and Its Use in COVID-19
Manuel García, Jr.
Ocean Heat: From the Tropics to the Poles
Sonali Kolhatkar
Why the Idea of Jobless Benefits Scares the Conservative Mind
Greta Anderson
Framing Wolves in New Mexico?
Binoy Kampmark
Pulling Out of Germany: Trump Adjusts the Military Furniture
Shawn Fremstad – Nicole Rodgers
COVID Stimulus Checks Shouldn’t Penalize One-Parent Households
Adam Shah
The 1 Percent’s Attack on Unemployment Benefits is a Sign of Our Broken Democracy
Evaggelos Vallianatos
On the Beauty of Life
B. R. Gowani
Mohammed Rafi: Singer and Human Par Excellence
David Krieger
Eight A-Bomb Haiku
August 03, 2020
Linda Pentz Gunter
The Resistible Rise of Nuclear Gangsters…and Their Downfall
John G. Russell
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
Cal Winslow
Their Heroes and Ours: California’s Health Care Crisis
David Barber
Renouncing White Privilege: A Left Critique of Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility”
Linda G. Ford
Free Joy Powell! America’s Political Prisoner for Fighting Police Brutality
Prabir Purkayastha
Trump’s Withdrawal From WHO: a Cover-Up for His Abject Failure on COVID-19
Dean Baker
The Plunge in Consumption of Services Leads to a Record 32.9 Percent Drop in GDP
Ramzy Baroud
Human Rights Defenders: Palestinian Eyewitness Testimony of the Execution of Abdul Fattah al-Sharif by Israeli Soldier, Elor Azaria
Karen J. Greenberg
Accountability is Gone in America
Cesar Chelala
A Wrong Message for the Pandemic
Jonah Raskin
Chesa Boudin: Reformer in the San Francisco DA’s Office
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail