I was just thinking about…a genuine teapot grandmother
By Janice Lindsay
On the surface, there would seem to be no connection between two recent events in my life, one momentous (to me) and one apparently inconsequential. But who knows what forces work beneath the surface?
First, the momentous event: I became a grandmother. Yippee! (Sorry.) I had waited a long time and believed it would never happen. Then, surprise: Gracie. By the time you read this, her grandfather and I will have been to California to meet the little daughter of our son and his wife. Gracie is three months old. I can see from her photos, and I say this without bias, that she’s the most beautiful, brilliant baby in the known universe.
With the arrival of Gracie, my view of the future has shifted and expanded, if ever so slightly. I’ve always known, in a theoretical way, that the world will, some day, continue without me though I’m not quite sure how everyone will manage. But now the future without me is no longer so theoretical. An actual little girl will carry a part of me forward, into the years that I will never see.
That’s the momentous event: a baby girl and me a Grammy. Second event, the apparently inconsequential one: I bought a teapot.
I’ve been drinking tea for years. Normally, I plunk a teabag in a mug, pour boiling water on it, the bag floats for a while, I dunk it a few times, squeeze it dry, drink the tea.
Suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, I conceived a desire to buy a ceramic teapot. I sensed no deep reason for this. I just told myself that it was about time for me to make tea like a grown-up, in a covered pot, the way tea was intended to be made, to steep in its own fragrant mist.
It took a while to find a proper teapot, not too little, not too big, that would look good in my kitchen. I visited local stores that might have teapots, but nobody had what I wanted.
My last stop was the thrift shop that sells donated, used items to benefit the local hospital. Eureka! A dozen teapots, displayed at various spots throughout the shop. I examined the merits of each pot. I chose a squat, white pot, decorated, in a water-color-painting look, with fruits and vegetables whose colors matched my kitchen décor.
During the search, my conscious mind realized what my unconscious mind had been trying to tell me: Grandmothers use teapots. I needed a teapot as a direct result of the recent advance in my grandmother status.
I so well remember my own grandmother’s teapot, a capacious, deep burgundy pot with gold trim, a wide strong handle and a graceful curved spout. Grandma’s teapot lived on her over-sized stove. It formed the center of her cozy kitchen, always present when children or grandchildren sat at the kitchen table, sharing their triumphs and their sorrows, finding a ready, non-judgmental sympathy, and a comforting, or celebratory, cup of tea.
For reasons of geography and because we have only one child and not seven, I can never be the grandmother my grandmother was. But I remember her whenever I make a pot of tea, carrying her memory into my future. Maybe some day I’ll share a pot of tea with Gracie, and we’ll talk, and I’ll tell her about her grandmothers.
My new, used teapot undoubtedly has its own history, which I will never know. But at least it gives me the assurance that I have finally officially arrived. I am a real grandmother.
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