Baby Taco: 4 months, 2 weeks
I miss my grandma. I have not seen her in awhile and now that she’s gone, the hole in my life seems to get bigger rather than closing. Every year as a kid we would get dressed up and have a Passover Seder. So much food, so many stories and as always so much yelling.
We are not a quiet family. I never learned my inside voice because to be heard you had to yell. Every year we would have our Seder and every year my family would bring up a story from 20 years ago, fight, eat, cry, throw a seder plate, make fun of each other, eat some more and relax. My cousins and I would play outside and I dreamed of the day where we could sit at the grownup table.
Well, now we are grownups. My grandma would joke that I could sit at the table when one of them died. It’s morbid but at the same time, this year hit me that I am at the grown up table. I have a family. Now Taco would be at the kid table. Poor guy would sit alone because there are no other kids yet but the torch has been passed.
I miss being near family. I always say I want to go back to Jersey but what would I go home to? Things are so messed up over there. So much sadness. What I wouldn’t give to hear grandma yelling at my dad. To walk into her house and drown in the smell of coffee, cigarettes and egg salad. There was always egg salad. To watch her cook. To have my dad make nervous noises when she would cut something and the knife woukd graze her fingers. Never cutting them, but always coming close.
I talk to Taco about her. I do my best imitation of her. Trying to capture her. My grandma was always a little mean but she meant well. Sure, my self esteem suffered but the amount of good she did weighed out the bad.
I want Taco to have a big family. To look forward to holidays. To anticipate and embrace the loud chaos of the Jewish holidays. I want him to have tradition and look forward to dressing up.
So I asked my husband if I could cook. Try to learn some of my grandmas recipes. Maybe that way I can be closer. Something to connect with her. Maybe that’s why I smoke, drink coffee, make egg salad. The desperate need to connect even though she’s gone.
Taco has all of his grandparents. He is so lucky. He will have the loud obnoxious grandparents which are mine and he will have the quiet calm of my husbands parents. He will have his own traditions learning from them. He is so loved and so appreciated. I hope he will listen to me one day when I tell him the stories of my grandma and laugh. I hope he remembers and appreciates her the way I do.
Happy first night of Passover kids. Eat until you get a stomachache and appreciate your nutty family.