Monday, April 21, 2014

On Sacred Spaces

When I was a girl, I was never in my parents' bedroom.
It wasn't a policy- there wasn't a keep-out sign on their door.
It was just a space that was all theirs. I never pajama-footed my way to their bed early mornings. Never begged to sleep between them stormy nights. Never had girls' night slumber parties with Mama-daughter in that bedroom.

That's why when we visit their house and you have access to their bedroom- where you play Legos in front of Grandma G's armoire for hours, or watch YouTube videos on the laptop in their bed in the dark, I secretly smile. Those grandparents and their knack for bending, or altogether dismissing, the rules between one generation and the next. They all do it. My grandparents were no different. My Grandma S. let me swim (in a RIVER and chlorinated pool) in my cast the (second) summer I broke my arm. Our little secret, she said. Until that bad boy started to smell. Then it was everyone's damn secret. And my Grandpa R. ... the man who did not believe in delaying gratitude, would let me pour a brand new box of Lucky Charms straight out into a mixing bowl until the toy came tumbling out into my waiting hands. When Grandma wasn't looking, of course.

Over the weekend you were camping out in their bedroom. Papa came in for something, and opened his closet door. His and Grandma G's are connected internally, but have separate doors on the exterior. When you shut either of the doors, it acts like a vacuum, pushing open the adjacent door. So when he shut his door, hers opened.

You came out to the kitchen where we were all congregated on Saturday night. You whispered you needed Grandma to come here. She went with you.

Out you came arms full of Easter eggs and miniature stuffed crap intended for their insides.

Look, you showed us. The Easter Bunny left all his eggs and stuff RIGHT IN GRANDMA'S CLOSET, and he did it A DAY EARLY!
"Yes," deadpanned Grandma. "That stupid Easter Bunny just left them right on my closet shelf. He must have needed the extra time and storage space to drop them off before Easter morning," she continued.

Hook, line, and an absolute believer at age six, sunk.

Later that night as I tucked you into your own bed and space downstairs, you whispered, what if Grandma G. is the Easter Bunny? 

I perched on the edge of your bed, brushed your bangs back from your forehead and admitted that yes, Grandma G. is many, many things. Wickedly talented. Relentlessly stubborn. Effortlessly low-maintenance. The best gift-giver ever. Incredible mojito-mixer and baker extraordinaire. A no-nonsense, honest feedback-giver. Beautiful flower-growing green thumber, and most selfless human I have ever met, but she is not the Easter Bunny.

I promise.

The next morning, you woke up to the dining room table set beautifully for a tea party with new Peter Rabbit porcelain dishes. There was a colorful note from the Easter Bunny with instructions to look for a giant basket inside and 12 eggs outside. The little kitchen chair where you left him a plate full of Jelly Bellies, baby carrots, romaine, and Dove dark chocolate eggs and a handwritten note depicting his likeness you sketched had been well-attended; there wasn't much left save for a few crumbs, pieces of candy wrapper tinfoil, and the tiniest, dirtiest little set of bunny footprints you ever did see, right there on the dishcloth you left him for such purpose. You know Grandma G. doesn't care for her floors to get dirty from the animals ... and that Bunny will have wet feet when he comes hoppin' in!

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