Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day

I spend a lot of time sharing what I consider to be embarrassing anecdotes about my grandmother (since she thinks she's always right, she’s not the slightest bit shamed about them) but this Mother’s Day I’d like to share a different side of my grandmother with you. So I won’t talk about the ordeal I’ve gone through this week trying to find a gift or activity for Mother’s Day that she won’t reject (“Its too expensive! I’m gonna return it!” or “This food taste terrible! Mine is much better!”) Instead I give to you:

Top 10 reasons I Love My Grandmother

1. Single best back scratching til you fall asleep, ever. I’ll do it for my kids for max 3 minutes, but Nonnie can seriously go all night.

2. You know Proust’s Madeline? For me, its Nonnie’s melted mozzarella on Italian bread. The smell of that melted cheese is the smell of my happy childhood.

3. Same goes for her pasta sauce, except that it is also the smell of my happy adulthood. Her sauce is so stellar that my high school ex-boyfriend who I’m not really in contact with just emailed me a few weeks ago begging for me to try and explain how to make it – again.

4. Ditto for the riceballs, stuffed artichokes, pizza, gnocchi, manicotti, and basically everything else that comes out of her kitchen. She literally wakes at 4am most days to start cooking homemade delicacies for my kids to eat for dinner every night. And get this -- Primo’s been obsessed with Spanakopita lately so she decided rather than have him eat the frozen ones, she’d make her own. With ricotta added of course. Italian spanakopita.

5. Loyalty. You don’t need a whole mafia when you’ve got Nonnie. She’s always on my side, no matter how wrong I am, and now the same goes for my kids, Once, when I was 13, I got into an Upper East Side elevator altercation with a haggy bitch who insulted my grandmother, and when the woman raised her hand to hit me, my grandmother literally beat her off the elevator with one hand, because the other one was holding a baby. You don’t mess with the Nonnie.

6. She tells dirty jokes.

7. Her favorite word in the English language is “sunofabitch,”

8. When Sec woke up at 5 am earlier this week and wouldn’t go to sleep, I called up Nonnie, who was awake of course, beginning her daily epic food preparation, and she was - I am not exaggerating – DELIGHTED to come pick up her great granddaughter at 5:10am. Kept her til it was time for school. She even made her chicken soup for breakfast.

9. Besides David and I, she is the only one in the world who truly understands how extraordinary our kids are.

10. For as long as I can remember, she’s always been there – for every good and bad occasion, every birthday, wedding, Christmas, every birth of a child -- loving me, and now my kids, like there’s no tomorrow, loving out loud, in living color, with everything she’s got. I can only hope my kids and grandkids and great grandkids will one day feel a fraction of the love and gratitude I feel for her.