I have many wishes for my kids, but most of all I hope they know what the important things in life are. I hope I'm teaching them the value of family and how lucky we are to be a part of this one. I often wonder if I'm doing this to the best of my ability. I wonder if "they're getting it". And then I have moments like these.....
It's bed time. Abby and I are together in her bed. She on her back, me on my side facing her an arm stretched across her stomach. This is my favourite part of the day, listening to her, talking about school, her friends, what she's seen on TV or in a book or any other random thing that comes up. As she chats she is trying to work the ring I wear on the ring finger of my right hand off.
Abby: Can I wear your ring Mom?
She almost has it off my finger at this point.
Me: Sure, but be careful with it. That was Granny's ring. It's her engagement ring.
Which isn't exactly true. My Mom had no engagement ring. As the story goes my parents decided to get married very quickly. Like in a week quickly. No she wasn't pregnant, but you can imagine the rumors. They exchanged plain gold bands that day in the Priest's living room at my Grandma's Catholic church and then honeymooned in Rochester, New York. It was there in a pawn shop my Dad bought a ring that had two interlocking hearts and, if memory serves, a diamond chip or three for $17. My Mom wore it together with her wedding band for as long as I can remember. Then a few years before he died he bought my Mom the diamond cluster I'm wearing now. But to keep the story simple for Abby I say to her.....
Your Papa Steve, my Dad, bought this ring for Granny when he asked her to marry him.
Abby: What happened?
Me: You mean what happened to Papa Steve?
Me: Remember I told you that when Mommy was a little girl her Dad died.
Abby: What did you do?
Me: What do you mean?
Abby: Did you cry because you missed your Dad?
Me: Yes. Sometimes I still cry because I miss my Dad.
Abby: Do you know why I cry sometimes?
Me: No, why?
Abby: Sometimes I cry because I really miss my Great Great Great Great Grandma.
Me: You mean Papa Joyce?
Abby: Yes. And my great great great Grandma.
Me: Grandma Ida?
Abby: Yes. Once my Papa Joyce read me a book.
Me: You're right.
I think of the picture of Papa Joyce and Abby at Papa and Grandma Linda's, a book on the couch between them. The picture sits framed in Papa and Grandma's living room, another copy in the great room. I'm not sure if she actually remembers that day or if it's just from seeing the picture and does it matter if it's one or the other?