Today Louise and I settled on a prompt asking us to write letters to our grandkids about an object we're bequeathing to them. Here are mine.
Here. This is my Chatty Cathy doll. I'm giving her to you because 1) you like dolls and 2) you're my oldest grandchild. Good thing you're a girl! Although maybe a grandson would like a Chatty Cathy doll, too. I AM NOT A SEXIST GRANDMOTHER.
I received Chatty Cathy for Christmas when I was four years old and when I pulled her string for the first time, she said, "I love you." I'm told by eye-witnesses that I wrapped my arms around my new doll and said, "I love you, too, Chatty Cathy."
Take good care of her. Give her old voice box a rest sometimes and also don't cut her hair.
Here. This is the bouquet of cotton stocks in a cobalt blue jar I keep on my desk. Whenever I look at it I think of you and remember the cotton field by your house in North Carolina where the combine rumbled and harvested beneath a low silver moon. I picked some for myself and took it home as a reminder of southern you.
This year as we drove home from Texas after spending Thanksgiving with you, I made your grandfather pull over so I could steal a proper bouquet of cotton stalks (Sorry, Cotton Farmers of Texas!) from a rain-soaked field. I'm not sorry I did it. I love how blowsy white and brown it is, like cloud and mud.
Turns out you're my nature baby. You love digging in the dirt and stealing rocks from other people's property. I get it.
Here. These are the baseball cards I've secretly stashed in my nightstand drawer. I'm not really a collector but whenever I found a Dennis Eckersley card, I kept it. He was my imaginary boyfriend because he was so badass on the mound. But then he took his hat off and he wasn't so cute anymore. You, on the other hand, will be cute with your hat on and off.
I have a card of Pedro Martinez, too, because badass. Also, I have a card of Vance Law. I went to high school with him and had a tiny crush on him when we were juniors. So there's that.
Already you like to throw balls when I babysit you. You also like trains. No one taught you that BECAUSE WE ARE NOT SEXIST IN OUR FAMILY. You just came that way. And I'm glad. Because I like baseball and the sound of train whistles in the quiet of night.