I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A limerick for grandma

I write from my father’s house where we are celebrating my grandmother’s 85th. My grandmother is one of 13 and the first of them (who had survived to adulthood) passed this year. So there seems to be a renewed effort to gather the family while we still can.

There have been enough of these milestone birthdays that they have a predictable shape. We have our roles. My dad hosts, foots the bill, and makes remarks in his speeches that scandalize or outrage the aunties. My cousin – the one who steals a little time from her tech job to run marathons, update her children’s website, and do a little modeling – does the planning. My stately great-aunt fusses over the catering. My second cousin prepares the sweeping epic video montage, with auntie as biblical matriarch.

My offbeat uncle gives the comic roast.
My deadbeat uncle sends a letter.
And my beaten-down uncle takes potshots.

I sing.

I love to sing, but really the only reason that I sing is so that no one will make me give a toast. I am categorically lousy at them. I practically ruined my sister’s wedding going on and on with no point until they finally had to cut me off.

I sang “Amazing Grace.” Not an inspired choice, but fool-proof.

The kids did poems. Girl did a limerick, “My grandma is really fantastic/ And no, I’m not being sarcastic./ The perfect playmate/ There is no debate/ Over her I am enthusiastic.”

Some others of her generation did a very inventive skit. I was talking to their dad (Actually, I was angling for him to take my bookish girl in for a month and maybe some of their sass would rub off). He volunteered that they had an agent and were vying for a spot on Disney. Which sort of made the performance seem less like an act of creative exuberance and more like an opportunity for exposure. But I’m sure I’ll feel differently when they’re the next Naked Brothers Band.

No comments: