Since my friends moved, a year and a half now, I drive past my grandmother's house at least once a week. But I don't stop. We're close geographically, just not emotionally. At times I wrestle with this, especially given my close relationship with my other grandmother. I know the why, but I still don't like it. So at the family reunion on Sunday, I mentioned that we drive by every Thursday at noon, and would she like some guests for lunch? Several times before I left, she reminded me of our planned date.
Thursday came and my littlest one was in a mood. He fussed, fidgeted and fumed. He did not want to be held, he wanted that toy, no now this one. He wanted food or drink, then pushed it away untasted. He was a grump! Taking little grumps to Great-Grandmother's house for lunch is not a good idea. But I didn't want to cancel. I prayed, buckled in the protesting child and drove the few blocks from our friends to our grandmother's. Then I unbuckled and carted them in.
To find that my grandmother had laid a feast. There were rolls, mashed potatoes, corn, salad, a beautifully laid plate of sliced tomatoes, breaded chicken, baked beans and pie. She had set the table, all beautifully prepared for her honoured guests, this delinquent grandchild. Eating my grandmother's cooking occasionally fills me with unease as it can be fairly hit and miss, especially her pies. But today, it was wonderful! Her pie especially was fantastic, real pumpkin pie made completely from scratch. When she cooks good, she cooks real good! We sat and ate, my grumpy child rendered mute from shyness. He refused to sit anywhere but on my lap, darting accusatory looks at all who dared look at him, especially towards his great-uncle. He did drink juice, and suspiciously ate the corn, so I considered that progress. Eventually, slowly, he warmed up. He ate the pie and then, when my aunt arrived with her little charge, all three children ran around my grandmother's house like monkeys. Having raised six, my grandmother simply smiled, her nerves unfrazzled.
We drank tea, and I, this prodigal grandchild, felt welcomed at this table I have not sat at, this door I have not darkened in quite some time. I marvelled at this table set for me, this feast including pie for a grandchild that does not often come near. I hugged warmly, thanked deeply and set a date for two weeks hence where we will share lunch again, this granddaughter prodigal no more.