grand-parents: a second chance to fuck somebody up! (part I)

This title made me laugh the other day. it is in fact the title of the new movie with billy cristal or to be more precise this title was rejected for another one, more public.

I have very little experience with grand parents. I only met with my 2 grand-mothers and not  for long (one died when I was 10 and the other when I was 12 and I am not even sure of the dates…) and from this very small experience, what I can say, is that I have not been really impressed by these 2 human beings. Don´t ask me why? Or …ask me! Those two women supposed to “accompany” me gently in my childhood, being there by my side to share some knowledge, maybe some candies, hiding them from my parents! or any kind of treasure, some generosity, some tales and whatever …unfortunately did not give me anything. I will never be able to say that as a child, I could spend hours pressed against the warmth of my grandmother’s embrace listening to her read, the rustling of her hand turning the page, watching the birds and the weather outside, transported by the intimacy of a shared side by side. This is not my life. This is just literature. And some kind of a dream….

221380137902659985_kE7upfUg_cSuspended in the liquidity of words, I am sure I am being judgemental right now. Emotions. We fall between a book’s open covers, into the texture of the paper and the regularity of the line. Even on a computer it feels kind of the same….The rhythm and breath of someone reading out loud takes us to a world far away. They world of my grand mothers´who have never learnt the word sharing, they have never shared the word sweetness…or at least with me. I do understand the vacuum, the environment, the starvation, the lack of education but I do not understand the lack of generosity and smile.

Both my grand fathers died in 1947. So my parents themselves barely knew their father.

One assassinated -as the family legend has it encrypted- by the “communists” during the civil war in Greece.

The other collapsed in Paris the same year, one day while shaving.

Their widows became (or were already probably) harsh women, raising kids alone, in a very special moment in history and in their life.

When I became a mother, more than 5 years ago, my mother became a grand-mother and my father a grand-dad. Their places shifted. Everyone became somebody else. Though we are not so close geographically with my mother and my father and we cannot see them so often, I think that each time we see them they take up their second chance to “fuck” up. Not that anything is done on purpose (nothing was done on purpose with me and my sister anyhow…all by chance, all so not calculated, all so not thought…they “did” kids like they did cakes, but i cant understand why if they didnt have the recipe why at least they didnt get the right products! a good flour and some patience to make it grow evenly without clumps, some good eggs and the graceful movement to break them beautifully, but firmly, and the rest of course.

I am not complaining about my childhood nor education. How could I? I got what I got and it made me the way I am. But – like all the stories there is a BUT…I would have loved to be able to exchange, to remember, to smell memories of the past, see old pictures and dream.

(to be continued)

One Comment

  1. There have been many things in my life that I haven’t been able to share with my mother, such as my writing. In 2006, I became a published author. My first novel, Across a Hundred Mountains , was released to critical acclaim and went on to receive an American Book Award. It was a bittersweet experience for me to have my book published. Although thousands of people were reading it, my own mother could not read my book because it was in English, a language that even to this day she still can’t speak. The copy I gave her lay unread and was eventually stored away. A year later, when the Spanish translation was released, I proudly handed a copy of A través de cien montañas to my mother. But she still did not read it.

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