Monday, November 12, 2007

SuperOma: A Grandmother Fraud

There's a myth going around that I'm some kind of Super Oma. I would be extremely flattered if I hadn't started it myself. A few years ago I wrote a storybook for my grandkids using them as characters in all sorts of dangerous adventures. SuperOma always saved the day. I fashioned a SuperOma costume, and had Dee take pictures of me going into my phone booth as Marty Kent (a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper) and coming out as SuperOma, flying off to fight for truth, justice and the American way.

Outside the storybook, I'm not a Super Oma at all. I don't bake cookies, I don't bring dinner, I don't do windows, and I don't make quilts. It's all a hoax. I basically tell stories, read stories or watch while the kids act out stories. I like to take the part of the person who doesn't do much. I'm the invalid grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood and the sickly patient in Nurse Nancy. I even played the "teacher in the wheelchair" in a game of School.

But I LOVE being a TravelinOma. That's the one who gets to visit their world, bring paper dolls or experiments, lay on their beds at night whispering secrets and singing lullabies, listen as they tell me about horseback riding, ballet, or ow-ies. Impromptu piano and dance recitals happen while I am their adoring audience. I watch Parent Trap, Survivor Man, Cars and Dora regularly. I love to sit and watch somersaults in the family room, or tricks on the trampoline while I philosophize with their parents, discussing everything from child raising theories to why people watch The Office. I'd rather talk to my kids and grandkids than anything else I can think of. It energizes me to see them in the homes they've created for themselves. And it validates the work of 32 years of active mothering we endured together. It is pure joy to be an observer of their busy lives.

That's why I'm so excited to get an SOS that I'm needed. Gabi, who signed herself The Original Desperate Housewife called the other day to report that her husband would be gone for a week, her kids will be out of school, and one of her four kids might have Lyme disease. I found my cape and tights and I'm flying off tomorrow.

What are some things you do as a grandmother, wish your kids' grandmother would do, or memories you have of your own grandma?

11 comments:

Celia Fae said...

My mom plays board games with my kids. I'm glad because I always feel guilty that I don't have the time or inclination to play games with them.

My husband's mom talks over my kids and it drives me insane. She does, however, enable my daughter's desire to collect things and craft things.

I can't wait to be a grandma.

Celia Fae said...

Oh, and my grandma used to take me to Burger King on Sunday because she hated to cook. It was so deviant. I loved it.

gab said...

Mom...You are a SuperWoman! My kids cannot wait for your sleepover. Thank you thank you thank you for coming to my rescue. I feel like a wimp...but I NEED MY MOMMY!!! Can't wait. Have a safe flight...

gramakas said...

You are a hero to me as a Super Oma!! I really admire how involved you are with the kiddies. Fly safe and save the day!

mary elizabeth said...

My grandma was awesome! She died when I was still pretty young, but I remember that she would spoil me and my two sisters just older than me like crazy!

She was also the infamous tickle-monster and would get us all the time!

And I always remember her having gum for us.

She was amazing.

Sandra Ferguson said...

My mother-in-law developed a wonderful visitation ritual with my oldest child. New Year's Eve always belonged to Gee Char. Starting around the age of 8, my MIL would come for my daughter, take her some place special to eat, open a bottle of sparkling cider, and pop a few fesitive fireworks, then the two of them would snuggle beneath covers and talk until they ran out of words.

Today, my oldest is nineteen and can't imagine spending New Year's Eve without her Gee Char. Seems like the tradition worked out pretty well.

kenju said...

My grandmother was the best cook ever and I remember the meals she used to cook for our family. She didn't drive, so we never went anywhere together, but she told lots of stories about growing up on a farm, which I found fascinating.

My mom was a very good grandmother to my children; spoiling them with love, food and teaching - but not money or things.

Polly said...

You are a good example of how much fun it is to be a grama, and I know you will save the day for Gabi, just like you do for me all the time

bedelia said...

My grandmother who could swear like a sailor loved her flower garden. She lived out in the piney woods of east Texas. When my siblings and I would visit, she'd let us help her make potpourri. We laid out a sheet and she carefully dumped all her dried flowers, herbs, and bark on it. Then we'd grab a corner or side and toss the flowers into the air to mix them. I can still smell the flowers in the air. Gosh, I miss her. Grandmas are always super in my book.

Marty said...

Thanks for the fun suggestions. I would love to do the potpourri thing!

S. said...

My grandmother never forgets my birthday. We both love jewelry so the gift is usually something shiny. Sometimes she sends chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies along with it. They are her specialty and always remind me of her. Mostly she makes me feel loved and important, no matter what I do.