The maternal side of my family is huge. Seriously huge. I don’t know the exact number but I do know that I have 100+ family members. Which means that my Great Grandma has 100+ descendants that are spread out over 5 generations. My Grandma happens to be one of the strongest and most amazing people that I’ve ever met in my life. Not only did she raise her children and her grandchildren, but she’s also had a huge hand in raising some of her great-grandchildren, including me and my sister. I can remember a goodly amount of summer days spent at my Grandma’s playing on the chunk of land she has along the river. I mean, what could have been more awesome than being able to run free range style up and down a river bank, play in a garden complete with apple trees, fields that had horses and an old school rope swing in the backyard? Besides having a great place to play and being surprised that I didn’t drown myself in the river, my Grandma has always been a positive force in my life.
I also consider her to be a force of nature in and of herself. What Grandma says, goes.
Which is why a few years ago during Easter she made my cry. Both out of laughter and because I was hysterical and freaking out.
You see, during all the major holidays the bulk of my mom’s side of the family gets together and celebrates. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Grandma’s birthday being the bigger events. This year Grandma will be turning 97. Now, because of finals I usually miss Grandma’s birthday and because of my mom’s rule that I have to attend at least three family events a year, I can’t miss Thanksgiving, Easter of Christmas. Easter, however, is my favorite family get together because my sister and I get to play Easter Bunny and hide 100’s of eggs all over Grandma’s main yard for all the little kids to find. My moms side of the family happens to be short to average height while my sister and I are tall. So I get a kick out of hiding eggs out of all the kids line of sight and reach so that I can pick my favorite cousin of the day and make sure they make out like a bandit on the Easter Egg Hunt.
One year after a particularly great Hunt where my sister and I had tied a grocery bag with a small hole filled with the small tin foil wrapped chocolate eggs to the back of her pants so she could run around “pooping” eggs and I got to watch kids root out all of my perfectly awesome hiding spots except the ones in the bird feeder, the satellite, high up in trees and along the tops of door ways. I ran around with one of my younger cousins whose name I can’t remember and it was great how stoked they were when I’d lift them up and they saw all the shiny eggs I’d left for them.
I obviously have a ton of fun at Easter at Grandma’s. The upside to the Egg Hunt is all the good food that is usually laying around. My Nana and Aunty V happen to be baking Goddesses of the highest order. So after the hunt I was in my Grandma’s house rooting through all the good goodies when I saw a tub of whipped cream and promptly helped myself to a spoonful.
I was happily snuggled up to my mom and licking away at my spoon of Cool Whip. Several of my cousins were in the kitchen with us, including the cousin who is just three days older than me and my sister. Picture my tiny little Grandma who was sitting in her walker chair in this crowded kitchen full of food. I was standing beside my mom wearing a blue and black tube top, jeans and my dreads were pulled up into a messy bun on top of my head. My sister and I were giants in a room full of ladies who were at least 3 inches shorter than us. Gossip was being passed around, everyone was laughing and smiling.
Then in the middle of all of that my Grandma looks up at me with a smile on her face and declared “You’re going to have a girl.”
I was given a brief moment of silence to mourn the fact that I had just been given a life sentence from my little Grandmother before the room erupted in laughter. I mean every one was roaring and howling with laughter while I covered my face and started to laugh hysterically and cry.
Into the middle of it all I wailed that I didn’t want to have a child and cried some more. I was so upset that I put my spoon of whipped cream down and covered my face. I couldn’t stop myself from crying. Grandma’s word is as good as gold so her saying something like that to me was as good as a judge banging it’s gavel and declaring that I was to be given a life sentence. So I decided to try and fight the Fates that I equate Grandma to and decided on the spot that abstinence was key.
It’s funny though. Every time that I’ve had sex since then, I wonder if it will be the time when Grandma’s prediction starts to come true. My mom teases me about it, my sister teases me about it and I even tease myself about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Grandma and I know she’s be stoked for another grandchild, but this is one of those times that I hope she’s wrong or meant to tell me that I would “adopt a girl” or anything else other than “You’re going to have a girl.”
I really, really, really do love my Grandma and think she’s one of the greatest women that I have ever met, but gosh, I really want her to be wrong about this.