Mouths of babes

By Regena Handy
Sometimes a story just presents itself. I hadn’t decided on a topic for my column this week. Then I had a conversation with our son.
I have a good friend who lives in a nearby county and who many years ago wrote a column for their local paper. She said she had to quit, however, when her daughter was six years old and realized that Mommy was writing about her in the newspaper.
Numerous famous and talented columnists such as Pulitzer Prize winner Anna Quindlen, who wrote for The New York Times and Newsweek, and Jacquelyn Mitchard, an internationally syndicated author—just to name a couple—have written about their children and families at various times in their careers. Humorist and columnist Erma Bombeck became widely known, her popular columns published in more than 900 newspapers detailing the antics of her children and family.
The ability of these writers is unsurpassed and in no way do I imagine ever being even slightly in a comparable league, but like them, I do know that some of the best comments come from the mouths of babes. In fact, members of a writer’s family must often share the feelings of one exasperated child who was quoted as asking if it would be possible for him to go to the bathroom without it ending up in a story.
Thus I have to move quickly here and take advantage of my own situation while I can. Although my grandson lives in Salem and probably doesn’t know that MawMaw tells stories on him in the newspaper, the day is quickly approaching when that will change.
On a side note, my husband and I became Poohpa and MawMaw because that is what the grandson named us. Our son and daughter-in-law discussed titles for us prior to his birth since he had five great-grandparents and four grandparents and wanted to avoid confusion. We told them not to worry, we would be whatever he called us—and would like it. And we do.
So today our son telephones—I should point out that he has just turned 37 years old, a fact that is important to the story. Anyway, during the course of our chat he tells of a conversation he had with his son (our grandson).
While discussing weekend plans and aware that his dad and I were having a little cookout with a few close friends, our son had shared that MawMaw and Poohpa were having a party. He said that our grandson looked at him with a sad expression on his face and said, “They’re having a party without me?!”
In an attempt to placate him, our son said “No, buddy, it will just be a group of older people.” Where upon our grandson’s face brightened and he said, “Oh, then you should go, Daddy.”
So, note to our own son: looks like it is your turn now. But here’s another thought, a scary one, at that: if our grandson thinks Daddy is old, what does that make Poohpa and me?


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