© 2008 – 2011 Diary of a Mom
Last night, I was pretty well convinced that someone had taken my kid. I wasn’t sure who the adorable little sprite was that had been left behind, but man, was she awesome.
She was just like Brooke – same big brown eyes with eyelashes that would make Coco Chanel weep. Same glowing caramel skin; same impish grin when she laughed. Heck, she even had the same stable of knock-knock jokes as my kid. But something was different. Really different. Not, wow, you’ve changed your hair different. More like Dear God in Heaven this just FEELS different.
The phone rang at dinner. Luau went to answer it, and Brooke, as she ‘s done every time the phone has rung for about a year now, asked, “Who ya talkin’ to?’ Luau answered, “I’m talking to Grammy.” And then the little kid that looked exactly like Brooke said, “Can I talk to her?”
I mean, this was so obviously not my daughter. My daughter does not ASK to talk on the phone. To anyone. And Dear Lord in Heaven, this kid TALKED. Now, I’m not going to claim that the conversation was anywhere near typical. It veered pretty far off the rails a few times, but God bless my mom, she kept it going.
And this little kid that looked just like my daughter KEPT talking. She told her jokes, she answered questions about camp, she said, “You are my grandmother’ and then asked to bring her something that doesn’t actually exist as a gift when she visits this weekend (stuffed animal versions of the three piggy Supremes back-up singers on Sesame Street.) That’s when I thought the similarities between this kid and mine were just damn eerie, but still, this kid was STILL talking ON THE PHONE, so obviously she wasn’t mine.
And I’m telling you, it was just so DIFFERENT than any conversation I’d ever seen out of my baby. She was, well, conversing.
I can’t let this go without expressing my gratitude for my mom. After the phone conversation had ended, she sent an e-mail to both me and Luau.
I don’t care if Brooke’s conversation was scripted. She was magnificent!
Katie was, as usual, awesome.
I can’t even express how wonderful I feel!
I wrote the following in response.
that conversation w brooke was AMAZING – truly a watershed moment. and she ASKED to talk to you!!! you did a FABULOUS job keeping it going – not an easy feat. made us soooo happy!thank you for making such an effort to connect with her. it means so much. and yes, i’m crying now and can barely see the keys, so i beg you, don’t write anything mushy back or i might just dissolve into a puddle. no really. and i thank you.
I didn’t have grandparents actively involved in my life when I was a kid. And I felt their absence. For that reason alone, I know how much that relationship means.
But I also know that being a grandparent to a child like mine (or even one that looks exactly like mine but who also talks on the phone) can be challenging in so many ways. Connecting with Brooke takes some extra effort. She demands perseverance. She needs creativity. She will test your resolve. But all she really wants is your love.
I am so grateful to my girls’ grandparents for all they do to really KNOW each of their grandbabies. It’s a gift I do not take for granted.
But back to this whole Help, someone replaced my kid thing. Seriously, it got even weirder. Just before bedtime, I gathered clothing together for camp. I turned to the little girl who looked just like Brooke, as I always do, for final approval on the outfit. She looked at it, then said, “But it’s Color Day tomorrow.”
And then I fainted.
OK, not really, but I swooned a little. And then she marched off to her sister’s room, trailing more words behind her. “Katie is letting me wear her Muno shirt.” I have no idea how much time had passed because I was still standing there in suspended animation with my mouth agape when she handed me the shirt and said, “What does it say?” I snapped to in order to tell her what she already knew, that it says. “Don’t Bite Your Friends,” which I think we all can agree is good advice. She then laid it out on the floor and said, “It’s red.”
Satisfied, she walked by Luau and climbed up on her bed. He looked at me. I looked at him. I couldn’t stop grinning. He broke the silence. “Um, babe? Who WAS that kid?”
I answered, “No idea, but I really, really like her.”
After tucking her into bed and cuddling for a few minutes, we did our countdown and I headed out. I looked back as I left her room. “I’m really proud of you, baby,” I said. She answered, her voice heavy with sleep. “I’m proud of you too, Mom.”
Nope, not sure who this kid is, but man, I really, really like her.
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© 2008 – 2011 Diary of a Mom.