I knew I was in trouble before I got home from Anchorage, Alaska, after attending my 50th high school reunion.
I talked to my four-year-old granddaughter, Joanna Leigh, two days before I would get on the plane for the long, long trip home. She said, in the sweetest voice, “Mama Jo, I have a special surprise for you when you get home.”
“You do-o-o-o?” I answered. “I’m so excited to see it. I’ll be home in two sleeps,” I said, trying to reassure her that I would indeed come home.
She needed reassurance. She has separation/abandonment issues from her mother’s disappearance from her life, and I left for Vancouver to pick up the cruise ship worried about how she would deal with my leaving.
So she made me a really special present.
My husband got back on the phone and said loudly, “This is really special.”
Then he whispered, “it’s glitter, not glitter glue,” which, of course, sticks to surfaces. Pure glitter, he meant.
Then he added in a lower whisper, “and it’s everywhere. I’ve tried to get some of it up.”
“Oh, ma gawd,” I thought.
I drug in at nearly midnight last Monday. She was awake and couldn’t wait to show me.
“Oh, ma gawd,” I thought, for real this time.
Today I spent all morning scraping as much as I could into a bowl. Then I vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed, over and over. I vacuumed EVERYTHING: her art table, the crayons, the markers, the paper, the floor, her bed, the lamp, the bottoms of my shoes, my hands, and finally, my own rear end, which sat in the chair covered in glitter. I even vacuumed the ceiling fan for fear that any glitter on the paddles would just get slung, the next time it got turned on, to those few places I didn’t vacuum.
No Bippity Boppity Boo
A glittering catastrophe. Now I’m nursing my back from vacuuming for two hours.
Life turns on dimes. How fast can you go from being a Queen catered to by everyone on a cruise ship for seven days to a household drudge? In a New York minute. Now I will turn to my pictures, videos, and memories before the whole trip sinks into the vast past and I forget I went.
Afraid that I would hurt her feelings by cleaning up the glitter mess, I took a picture.