At this spring’s Retreat From Harsh Reality, I bid on and won a huge sack filled with children’s books. When I showed my grandchildren my newly acquired treasure trove, they immediately asked if they could take them all home. They always ask the same question about my crayons, paints and other craft items, and the bins of toys I keep in the family room for them to play with when they visit. Each time they ask, I give them the same answer: if they take them home, there won’t be anything for them to play with when they come to visit Grandma.
The granddaughters also ask if they can take home my old lipsticks and all my costume jewelry they love to play dress up with. In fact, the elder granddaughter, a high-maintenance little female her daddy dubbed “The Princess,” has designs on my real jewelry as well—serious designs.
A few years ago, Macho Guy and I went to a viewing prior to our daughter-in-law’s grandmother’s funeral. I was wearing the antique diamond engagement ring that I had inherited from my maternal grandmother. The Princess, who was about five at the time, was fascinated by it and couldn’t take her eyes from it.
PRINCESS: I like your ring, Grandma. It’s pretty.
ME: Thank you.
PRINCESS: Can I have it?
ME: [Ever the English Major] May I have it—no.
PRINCESS: Can I play with it?
ME: May I play with it—no. This isn’t the right place for playing. We’re paying our respects to your mom’s grandmother who went to Heaven.
PRINCESS: What about later?
ME: Honey, this is a special ring. It’s not like the other rings and things I let you play with. It was my grandma’s engagement ring. She left it to me when she went to heaven because I was her first granddaughter.
PRINCESS: Like me?
ME: Yes, just like you. Since you’re my first granddaughter, someday this ring will be yours when Grandma grows old and goes to heaven.
A calculating expression stole over The Princess’ face. I could almost hear wheels turning. After a brief pause, she spoke.
PRINCESS: Grandma, how old are you?
I could hardly believe my ears. That covetous little imp! She wanted to know how long she had to wait to get her hands on my grandmother’s ring. I had to bite my tongue and the insides of my cheeks to keep from laughing. We were at her late great-grandmother’s viewing after all.
Once outside, I told MG, my son, my daughter-in-law and her parents about the ring and what the Princess said to me, and they all broke up.
That wasn’t the end of it. Later that evening, my son (who is a terrible tease) called me from his car on his way home with his family.
SON: Hey, Mom, we were talking about you and your ring, and I asked your granddaughter about it. Do you want to hear what she said?
ME: Okay, sure. What?
SON: [shouting to his daughter in the back seat] Princess, do you want to get Grandma’s ring when she goes to heaven?
SON: Do you want Grandma to go to Heaven now?
I laughed so hard I dropped the phone.
#diamonds #grandchildren #greed