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Friday, September 30, 2016


My sister Liz came over for a brief visit the other day. She was taking a little breather before she had to go in to work and seemed glad to sit down and put her feet up. At some point while she was checking texts and voicemails and making a couple of phone calls, she told me that I needed to contact her daughter. I was a little surprised. I love Becky, but we don't spend a lot of time phoning or texting one another.

I asked Liz what was going on. "I don't know," Liz said. "She called me last night and told me that she had to talk to you about something important.  She wanted me to tell you that when she calls, you need to answer. She says that when she calls, you never answer." I thought, but did not say, that no, I usually don't answer, because every time she calls it seems that she's telling me someone died. That's the type of call that you want to be prepared for. It's the kind that you let go to voicemail and you don't even listen to the voicemail until you've had at least a few minutes to mentally gird your loins, as it were.

I was getting a bit miffed, though. Why on earth did she call Liz to say that she needed to talk to me? Did she change her phone number? I hadn't had any phone calls from her recently. Did she ask Liz for my phone number? That was silly, too, because I haven't changed it in years. What the heck was going on? I asked Liz all of these questions, getting a little more peeved as the conversation went on. 

Liz got a little testy with me and my questions, telling me that she didn't know what was going on, all that she knew was that Becky had called her the previous evening and told her that she really needed to talk to me. Don't get testy with me, I thought, but did not say. I'm not the one who started this. Why in the heck didn't Becky contact me directly by phoning or texting? Why call Liz? Liz isn't my mother, and even if she was, I'm a grown woman, as is Becky.

I texted Becky, sort of a what's-up-your-Mom-said-you-needed-to-talk-to-me-about-something kind of message. I was getting really irked because Liz kept saying that she didn't know what was going on, I should just call Becky. Argh. So I talked to Liz about other things. I knew that Becky, who lives in another state, would be up and about, and when she called me a few minutes later, I answered a bit warily. I wanted to respond like Olympia Dukakis did when her character was awakened during the night in Moonstruck - who's dead?

Becky said, "Hi, I just wanted to let you know that you're going to be a great aunt!" I turned to look over at Liz, who was laughing. I called her a name. Nothing foul, mind you, I simply referred to her as a young female bovine who has never given birth to a calf. She and Becky both burst out laughing. I laughed too.

So my niece is making me a great aunt and Liz a grandmother at Easter time. Becky is doing well now that she has gotten over the morning sickness phase. Because he was away at college when all of his friends were having babies, her boyfriend has never changed a diaper or fed a baby a bottle. He needs to do a heap of learning before April. I'm sure he'll do just fine.

After I got off the phone, I told Liz that she needed to decide what she was going to be called as a grandmother. (This was interspersed with her having fits of giggles as I was still calling her a young female bovine who has never given birth to a calf.) Gram, of course, is out of the question because of Gram who raised us. It's been used thoroughly. I suggested going for a British term like Nan or Gran. We'll see. There's plenty of time for her to decide. That poopy little young female bovine... 


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