10 November 2007

Day 10

Grandma's mother, on the other hand, is one relative I knew somewhat well as she lived to be 89 and died when I was 11. She always had this ugly ass urn on her coffee table filled with m&m's. My mom has it now and she promised (when Natalie is older of course) to keep up the tradition. She also had this cabinet in her kitchen that grandma remembers being at her grandma's (my great great grandmother) house. Little mom-mom* used to go in there to get keebler grasshopper cookies for us. Now it's in my office full of nerdy supplies and files, but it smells exactly how I remember it from growing up. And when we get our kitchen fixed up, it's going to reside in our dining room and keep serving pieces and stemware and such in it.

When people as kyou to pick three people, living or dead, who you'd like to invite to dinner, little mom-mom is top of my list. She was a total spitfire in her day. Born in 1900 in New York, she told stories of renting horses and jumping the fence at Central Park to go riding. And if a horse was left dead in the street, she and her friends would jump on it's stomach to make it's tongue stick out. She also rode in an open cockpit bi-plane (makes me want to hurl just thinking about that) and was a flapper. She met her husband because he worked at an ice cream shop in Asbury Park that was owned by friend's of hers. How else would the daughter of Scottish immigrants fall for a Russian-Jewish guy? I wish there were pictures or I could go back in time and see her when she was younger. I think we'd be good friends.

Little mom-mom was also the one who supported my mom the most when I was born. Since we were in Jersey and mom's mom was stilli n Detroit at that time, mom was stuck with her mother-in-law for advice - the woman thought breastfeeding was disgusting, little mom-mom was the one who told grandma (her daughter) to shut up and let Sue nurse me. I also found out later that when grandma was born in 1923, everyone breastfed, but little mom-mom couldn't get enough supply. Hmm...makes me wonder if so many of my female problems are hereditary... Anyway, she's someone I wish I could talk to now.

*Dad named her "little mom-mom" when he was a kid, because she was short, and his other grandmother was tall, so she was big mom-mom. Little mom-mom was also called "old roundbottom" because she was a bit rolly polly and in later years, we all liked to drive with her in the middle of the back seat and dad would take the curves fast so she would roll back and forth. She thought this was hysterical.

1 comment:

Jen said...

YES! I too totally wish I could sit down with all of the women - on my dad's side of the family, since I know everything about my mom's - and pick their brains about childbirth and breastfeeding. My mom recently informed me that my grandma once said that she "never had enough milk". And my aunt had horrible long labors (but never had a c-section, hmmm, those were the days...).

What obviously was not a problem for any of those women was conceiving, as all of my genetically-related aunts had at least 5 children (my dad's brother's wife had NINE, but she married into the family).

Maybe some day we'll be able to ask all of the questions we want... hopefully we'll be open enough with our own kids and grandkids that there are no mysteries that go with us to the grave...