Monday, October 14, 2019


Chosen family folk stopped by the other day for a quick bite before going to the theater. We spent much of the time catching up on the news of their still new grandson, Elias, who lives in Buenos Aires.

I love these people dearly. Loved watching their daughters grow up. One is now doing her part to fight crime and injustice (that's how I choose to define her job as a lawyer in the nation's corrupt capital) and the other is, among other things, responsible for baby Elias.

Barely do I have time to properly groove on the wisdom of this child to be born into such a loving family before I get news about another grandchild, born about the same time. This time it's the grandchild of my nephew, Joe Onion, Jr.

We all met last May, Elias's grandparents and Joe Jr., while visiting my sister in Connecticut. Joe's son, Joe III, was there, too. He's the daddy of this little girl, Ella Rose.

Ella Rose and her Grandpa
Can't believe how lucky I am that I now understand the joys of being a grandparent, even though I'm not one myself. Not directly. But I know what I'm feeling, and if I can have these feelings I can only imagine what the actual grandparents are feeling.

It's no secret that those emotions are enhanced by precious memories. I was visiting my sister one time - must have been around 1973 or 1974. Joe Jr. said good-bye and went out the door to walk to school. Two minutes later he comes back in, marches up the stairs, flushes the toilet, and goes back out again without a word to anybody. "Sometimes he does that," my sister says, "forgets to flush the toilet." That leads to a discussion of how many things we take for granted that people know that they actually don't. There are a whole lot of things kids simply have to learn while growing up, one painstaking detail at a time.

That kid is now the grandpa on the right. Ella Rose is the great great great great granddaughter of "Grandma Mary," my great-grandmother, the woman in the rocking chair in the kitchen by the stove I have such vivid memories of, in Manchester, Nova Scotia when I was at the flush-forgetting age. Which didn't matter, because we didn't have indoor plumbing in those days, but that's another story. Mary Johnston was pretty old by then and had taken to starting the fire in the stove first thing in the morning to bake bread. Problem was she kept doing this several times throughout the day and we all worried she might burn the house down.

I feel sorry for the younger generations. They don't have all the memories I have. They see this little face and think, "How cute!" I see her and think of her grandpa learning one has to flush a toilet and of the fear we could all go up in smoke, if we weren't on our toes.


Such joy.

1 comment:

Bill Sweigart said...

Absolutely marvelous blog. It is a poetic paean to the wonders of grandkids. Thank you for writing it.