So as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ll be posting stories about my grandmother by way of remembrance. Here’s my favorite. My youngest sister Lindsey was born in our house on Seaview Avenue with the help of my Grandmother and a midwife. It had become clear that Lindsey was on the way late one winter afternoon and the family was gathered around waiting for this to happen with some anticipation. I played missile command on my Atari 2600 for hours as I waited, and ultimately ended up going to bed. This birthing business takes too long, I remember thinking. Late that night or very early the next morning came an insistent tapping at my door. It was Granny, as excited as a kid on Christmas, come to wake me up and summon me to watch the birth of my sister. It suddenly occurred to me, sleepy eyed and groggy, that I wanted no part of watching a birth take place, especially not one involving my mother, and I began trying to beg off. There was this wonderful moment of a clash of emotions between my grandmother and I – she simultaneously so excited that she seemed about to bounce out of her shoes and at the same time crestfallen that I wasn’t sharing her excitement and interest, and me, embarrassed and sheepish and trying to mask it behind a sort of sleepy irritation.
Granny ultimately gave up and me and bounced back upstairs after admonishing me for passing on the chance to witness something of such significance to the family. At a guess, this incident barely registered with her, but it’s stuck with me all these years. It is the only time I can recall seeing Granny positively giddy with excitement over something.