It’s six-fifteen in the morning and I crack open my left eye… just a bit. My granddaughter Emily is standing next to my hard, uncomfortable bed staring at me. I’ve spent the night at her house because we have Breakfast with Grandparents Day at her school. I want to know who scheduled a breakfast at seven-fifteen in the morning. Didn’t anyone tell them we’re old folks? Why not Mid-Morning Snack Day?
“Meme, you need to get up,” Emily says.
“I am. Just five more minutes,” I answer.
“Meme, are you awake?”
I lower my eye to just above bed level to see my grandson, Finnegan, staring at me. His dimples are deep which means he has a beautiful smile on his face. I can’t see it because my right eye refuses to open.
“Will you turn Jake on for me?”
“Where’s your mother?” I ask
“She telled me to ask you.” Finnegan answers.
I throw back the covers and sit up. Emily is dressed, but what is going on with her hair? It’s sticking out every which way. Her hair is curly and has a mind of its own. “Did you go to bed with wet hair last night?” I ask
“Mommy said it was bedtime and I didn’t get a chance to dry it completely,” Emily answers. “Yours looks the same,” she tells me.
I hurry into the bathroom and look in the mirror. It’s true. My hair is sticking out every which way. I run into the living room and turn on Jake for Finnegan. Emily and I stand in the bathroom running a wet brush through our hair. The result is not pretty.
My daughter appears at the door. “You need to get going, it’s seven o’clock.” Where did the time go? I run into the bedroom to throw on clothes. I’d brought my cashmere sweater and black slacks to wear. I didn’t want to embarrass Emily with my sweatpants and tee-shirt. I pull them on and we run out the door. As I drive to the school, I pick off dog hair from my clothes. I touch my hair, which is damp and plastered to my head. Hopefully, it’s not a big turn-out.
I can’t find a parking spot. I watch dozens of grandparents, impeccably dressed, walk with their grandchildren into the school. I look down at my beautiful granddaughter who looks up at me and smiles. We both look like we’ve been caught in a rain storm.
There is a long line that winds down the hall. Emily and I stand at the end holding hands. She gives me up-close-and-personal stories of each kid that walks by. There are a lot of interesting kids in Emily’s school. She’s going to be a writer and has learned to observe.
We finally reach the food. What food? We take our bowl of donut holes and juice to Emily’s classroom. Where’s the hot tea and bagel covered in a thick layer of cream cheese?
I pull up a tiny chair to her desk and sit. The grandmother opposite is decked out in her knit suit and pearls. Her hair is perfectly done. Where did she get a life-size chair? She smiled at us and I grin back.
“My grandmother is an author,” Emily chimes. I pop a donut hole in my mouth.
The woman looks at me with new eyes. “Published?” she asks.
“Lots of books,” Emily brags. “She’s published.” I look at my beautiful granddaughter and smile. In the tiny chairs, we’re at eye level.
Emily’s teacher comes over. “I’m so excited to meet you. I’ve never met a published author before.” Emily took my non child-friendly book to school to show her.
“I hope Emily didn’t get into trouble bringing my book to school.” I say.
She smiles. I like this teacher. “No, she told me she wasn’t allowed to open it.” I feel Emily’s hand slip into mine and I squeeze.
“Emily, why don’t you show your grandmother the library,” the teacher suggests. We get up and thread our way to the door. Along the way, we hear whispers, “She’s an author. She’s published.”
We walk into the library which is filled with spill-over grandparents all perfectly dressed. I groan. Emily takes my hand and drags me around to look at the books. The librarian stands at her desk looking formidable. “This is my meme. She writes.” Emily announces to her.
“That’s nice,” she says. I can tell she thinks I write emails. I smile.
“She writes books.” Emily says.
The woman raises an eyebrow. “Published?” She asks. I nod. She peers at me and my crazy hair. “Please excuse the mess. I know some of the books are out of order. The children….” Her words trail off.
I’m not a librarian,” I console.
People are looking at Emily and me with our messy hair that sticks up every which way, but we smile at them. They stop us on the way through the library to ask about my books. Emily stands next to me looking up at me with shining eyes. I hold her hand.
It’s time to go and tears fill Emily’s eyes. “I wish you could stay, Meme”
“I wish I could stay too, Emily.” I run my hands over her crazy curly hair and look at my beautiful grandchild. “I’m sorry my hair was a mess,” I tell her.
“That’s okay, meme. You write books.” She kissed me and walked into her class.
My heart is full.
To find Stolen Hearts on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Hearts-ebook/dp/BooE3LMF71
Coming in 2014 by SoulMate Publishing:
Love on the Double T