This week's memoir prompt was to write about a childhood memory.
I sat on my Grandmother's lap. My little cream-colored felted wool Holiday dress had appliques on it and I can remember the thick wool-on-wool texture, but I can't remember what the appliques were of. The dress had red ric-rac on it and I am sure my Mom must have made the dress. I must have been 3 or 4 years old, because we were in the house on Raleigh Drive in Toms River, NJ.
My Grandma's lap was one of my favorite places to be on any day. Especially on Christmas. I remember her long-fingered, capable hands and the cameo ring she always wore. She had worn it so long that the cameo no longer had a face, it was just a smooth pink stone.
One of my Christmas presents was a toy like an EZ Bake oven, except it was a little griddle. It's funny when I think of it now, to give a 3 or 4 year old child a toy that gets searing hot. Recalls are for sissies. I sat on my Grandma's lap and slid the little drip tray in and out and thought of the lovely grilled cheese sandwiches I would make. Grandma ooo'd and ahh'd and acted like it was the most wonderful thing she had ever seen.
It's easy for me to know why that early memory is so cherished. I loved Christmas. I loved cooking, even then. But most of all, I loved my Grandma! She was a source of unqualified support, encouragement and love all of my life. I loved the way that she never mastered the English pronoun, "I". She always used the Dutch, "Ik". She made amazing cookies and taught me how to fry smelts and led by her stellar example. She was a tower of strength, a rock of patience, a fountain of wisdom and every other inspirational cliche you can think of. These many years after her passing, she still inspires me to be a better version of myself.
But that day, I was a very little girl in a woolen dress, feeling quite grown up to get such a toy, and wonderfully treasured because of all the many children in my family, I had the place of honor on Grandma's lap.
Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ