There’s something about grandchildren, where they exact revenge upon the parents, and the grandparents sit back and laugh. When I was young, I did this or that or the other thing to my mom, which surely drove her crazy. She survived whatever it was, but then, when Maya came along and did to those same things to me, and drove me nuts, HA! My mom was so happy. Grandchildren are the best revenge, right?
What I didn’t know before, was that children can also be some kind of revenge exacted upon your grandparents as well. (See how I skipped an entire generation there? Crazy, huh?) Way back when I was 29 or 30, pregnant with Maya, we were living in Philadelphia. Ted was attending graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, and I was working in the Sociology department there on campus. Walking around, pregnant, 29 or 30, I was in an entirely different head space from the undergraduates. They seemed so YOUNG, which of course they were. Walking around with their cell phones, thigh high tights, and dripping with money and youth. Every once in awhile, I got a glimpse of a girl with her belly button pierced, and I thought that was pretty darned cool and sexy and daring, and yet….kind of hidden. So that winter, we came home to California for Christmas, and my dad, my step-mom, and my sisters all came down to see us. We met up at my Grandma’s house in Modesto. I remember going out to dinner somewhere, and in the car on the way back to Grandma’s house, we passed by a piercing/tattoo parlor, and I flippantly mentioned that, were I younger, and not pregnant, I might perhaps get my belly button pierced, because I liked that look. Everyone was quiet for a bit, and then conversation went on again.
Of course, when we got back to Grandma’s house, she took me aside (though in full ear shot of the family) and told me she hoped I would raise my child better than that, that I would set a good example and live a moral life for her. I felt a bit stunned, but let it go. My sisters and father all talked to me after, telling me they were sorry, that they had all been in these kind of conversations with Grandma, so they had learned to just shut down, let Grandma talk, and move on with their lives. I had certainly gotten off easily, not knowing my Grandma growing up, I missed a lot of good, but also sometimes I missed some of the lectures and out of left field criticism as well.
Anyway, this weekend, Maya provided me the opportunity to exact a bit of revenge on my Grandma. She has wanted to get her belly button pierced for awhile now, but Ted and I thought that was something too sexy and rebellious for a young girl, but perhaps when she was 17, that would be old enough. Well, she turned 17 a couple of weeks ago, and amongst all of these milestones (driving, Prom, SAT, birthday) she decided it was time. So on Sunday I took her to get her piercing, and I’ll admit, part of me thought, “Take that, Grandma!”