Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Mission

I was super keen to try this Monday Mission, but my mind was a complete blank all last night and this morning. All it took was a trip to the grocery store though and Bob's your uncle. We're supposed to write an anecdote that shows instead of telling. There's one bit in here though that I couldn't resist telling...

It's been three weeks since we've been able to go to the Saturday morning market. Our fridge is empty, except for a few outdated leftovers and three eggs.

By the time we made it to the bakery section at the grocery store, our cart is nearly overflowing. There are no Farmer's Market cookies to be seen. Burgeoning dread accompanies my question to the woman putting bread on a shelf. While she goes to check the back for cookies, I go over my list. Damn, forgot kitty litter.

They're still too warm to package, but I just put some in the cooler if you can wait five minutes?

Hmm... waiting 5 minutes for freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? Hardship for sure.

After I get kitty litter, I try to think of something to do to pass the time usefully but can't. I loiter in the bakery section amusing Swee'pea and enjoying his bright shiny smiles as he signs at the lights way up above.

Golden haired darling...

I don't realize she's talking to me until she's nearly past, her low high heels clipping smartly.

Golden haired darling boy, he won't give you any trouble.

She turns back. See? He knows. He's giving me a big smile. He knows I'm a grandma. I had one of those golden haired darlings. He won't give you any trouble.

I'm leaning over the shopping cart, my elbows on the handle, so my face is on the same level as hers.

I don't think I say anything in response, so busy am I consuming details like treats. I smile though.

She's taken the time to put makeup on, just like my grandma used to, and the rouge across her rounded cheekbones also verges on the garish if I'm honest. She has the same abundance of nearly-white hair, and the same sparkle of life and wellness as my grandma did before she got sick. She stands straight and wears smart clothes like my grandma did before the car accident broke her pelvis and the months of bedrest knitted her bones permanently, though gently, twisted. She has the same papery, healthy pink skin, crinkled like a paper crumpled into a ball for a three-point shot in the bin, then retrieved and smoothed out on second thought, the lines of experience still clear no matter how many hands try to smooth them out. The similarities are remarkable between this woman and my grandma who died three months before this darling's golden hair emerged into the air. Or maybe they're not.

She turns to Swee'pea: my GREAT-grandkids are bigger than you.

To me: I have eight GREAT grandchildren. And they're all GREAT!

I watch her walk away, energetic yet relaxed. She doesn't look back; why should she?

A ghost of a breeze ruffles the hairs on the back of my neck.

Later, instead of walking Swee'pea back and forth, I dance him to sleep, his head on my shoulder, my lips on his hair, my feet shuffling in that self-conscious circle from high school dances. I notice it's Neil Young's "Only love will break your heart." I don't let any tears fall on his head.

16 comments:

Mouse said...

What a beautiful story--not just the moment, but all of the details.

Mimi said...

Awwwww. When I get old, I want to wear too much rouge, and sashay around the grocery store. Something to look forward to. What a beautiful story.

kgirl said...

you sure showed us.

nomotherearth said...

Lovely. Really.

NotSoSage said...

Awesome, Cin.

You got it. Totally.

slouching mom said...

Beautiful. So evocative.

Oh, The Joys said...

You did that wonderfully!

crazymumma said...

a ghost of a breeze came reading that post.

I dance with my girls to Tell me Why by Neil.

That really touched me because it snuck up on me with it's simple placement, the supermarket.

Mad Hatter said...

Oh Sin, this was indeed lovely. And resonant.

It's also good to know that the golden haired boy WHO STILL HASN'T ALLOWED YOU A SINGLE NIGHT'S SLEEP will give you no trouble.

Bon said...

oh. oh.

that was beautiful, and my eyes are welled up.

to touch that which we miss, even in approximate form...what a gift of an encounter.

Mary G said...

That was just great! You got me right into the moment with you. Thanks a whole lot.

Beck said...

Can everyone stop making me cry already?

Aliki2006 said...

OH, that's good C.G. I'm inspired to do a Monday Mission of my own, except that it's...Tuesday. Sigh.

Denguy said...

Like a series of photographs, that's how I saw this post.

Your words are worth a thousand pictures.

Kyla said...

Well done. What a moment.

ewe are here said...

lovely

really lovely