#160 Birds of a Feather

by R. Jennifer Aillen

“Mommy, look at me!”

“That thing is bigger than your head,” Carole grinned, tilting the cloche back to reveal Lilly’s green eyes. “My grandma wore that when she was younger than me.”

“You have a grandma? But you’re a grownup!”

“I wasn’t always, silly! Besides, grownups can have grandmas. Everyone’s got a mom, and their mom has a mom. Dads have moms too.”

“And their moms have moms and moms and moms!” Lilly shouted, bouncing in her seat and giggling. “So where’s your grandma? How come I never met her?”

“She died a long time ago, when I was little.”

“Died like my fish died? An’ went to live with God?”

Carole nodded. Lilly hugged her legs to her chest, quietly solemn.

Carole held out her hand, wiggling her fingers. “Gimme the hat. It’s fragile, I don’t want the feathers to get broken.”

“They’re pretty.” Stroking them, Lilly looked thoughtful. “Feathers come from birds, right?”

“Yup. You know that.”

“Do birds have moms?”


“How about grandmas?”

Carole chuckled. “I guess so. When the baby bird grows up and has her own babies, her mom becomes a grandma.”

Lilly’s brow furrowed. “And then the grandma dies? Like your grandma died?”

Carole didn’t answer. Damn smart kid.

“An’ everyone’s a grandma when it’s their turn. Girls, I mean.”

Oh Lilly, please don’t. Don’t go there yet. Stay a kid a while longer. “Come on,” she said, interrupting her daughter’s train of thought. “Let’s go make lunch.”


Whipchick said...

This is such a sweet, lovely portrait of a universal moment!

Margaret said...

Lovely natter between mother and daughter. You've captured the moment beautifully.

Reminded me of something my youngest daughter said to me when she was small. 'Mami, who'll be my mami when you're a granny?'

Flutterby said...

Wonderful illustration of those tough moments of explaining!