Monday, November 26, 2007

Lions and Tigers, Grandparents, Oh My!

My parents are the epitome of goodness—after raising four children, they took in twelve different foster children at various times, finally adopting the last two (brothers). They also adopted the half brother because, at eight, he wasn’t as adoptable as the younger ones.

My parents are also the epitome of youthful energy, and their visit this weekend is making me nervous. They’re here to be tourists and to see their granddaughter. I’m to be their social director and guide, since they won’t take a bus or metro by themselves.

It’s not that I want to be pampered (Okay, that’s a lie. It would be GREAT to be pampered. But that’s not going to happen. And that’s fine). These are the people who, when I was six, told me to “stop acting like a child,” after all.

They came to see me last summer in my first trimester of pregnancy, and in the three days they were here we visited 1.Mt. Vernon 2. all the monuments on the National Mall 3. the Arlington Cemetery, 4. the Holocaust museum 5. the National Gallery 6. Dumbarton Oak Gardens and 7. Georgetown, and more I just can’t remember right now. Oh, yeah, there was Shabbat in there somewhere, too.

Happy as school children on summer vacation, they’d wake me each morning at 6:30, ready for adventure.

My mother and I walked 4-6 miles every day the week before I gave birth. I was proud of my athleticism; I really pushed myself to do a 15-minute mile. The second day my mother woke me at 6 am to ask if I thought we’d take another 4 mile “stroll,” because she wanted to know how much she should work out before our next outing.

My mother worked plenty at home when we were small, and she probably deserves to vacation the rest of her life: there were the kids (us), the vegetable garden, the cooking. She ground our peanut butter and made her own flour. We raised our own animals for meat; she sewed our clothes. You could eat off her floors (unlike mine which my daughter, unfortunately, eats off anyway).

Isn’t she amazing?

But she’s done now.

She's so done my mother will probably wear my winter clothes while she’s here, so she won’t have to pack hers. (she weighs 103 lbs, as she’ll mention repeatedly in the course of the weekend, as in “I just don’t understand: I eat and eat and eat all day and I still weigh just 103 pounds”).

Umm…Thank G-d they’re healthy?

My baby is going to have a terrific time! We can't wait.

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