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Rosemary Zibart

Playwright - Author - Journalist


Only Great-Aunt Augusta spoke up against the plan. As usual, we had gathered for tea at her big elegant house in Mayfair on Wednesday at 4 p.m. sharp. White-haired and stout, Great-Aunt Augusta, had made it quite clear she wouldn’t allow the War to interfere with her teatime. Of course we each carried a gas mask to her home, just in case. The gas masks were made of smelly rubber and I dreaded using one. But we knew a poison gas attack might come at any time.

Hearing the news of my trip, Great-Aunt Augusta looked appalled “You don’t mean to say you’re going to send Beatrice to the United States!” she said, “The girl will surely lose all her manners. She’ll return chewing gum and wearing lipstick.”









from the "granny diaries"

Grandma’s Lap

in the snow with BrandonI’m in the fortunate position among grandmothers of living close enough to my grandchild, Brandon, so that when he’s a little sick and can’t go to day care then he comes to my house for the morning. This isn’t 100% pleasant because a sick child can be a very fussy child. But a sick child is also a child that appreciates a big soft lap and that’s something I possess.

What is the difference between a Mom’s lap and a Grandma’s lap? Let’s face it, grandmothers – even lively, active grandmothers like me – do more sitting than the usual mom. For one thing we usually have less to do – less shopping, cleaning, cooking, instructing, driving, partying than we did when we were mothers twenty years before. Also we enjoy sitting. What greater pleasure is there than being seated in a comfortable chair and watching your grandchild run circles around the room in a constant beam of imaginative activity? What greater pleasure than being ready and willing when that somewhat weary child seeks refuge in your warm lap for five, ten, fifteen minutes or – the bliss of it – when he or she falls asleep there for a whole hour.

I consider my lap to be a safe and solid platform from which Brandon can go and come in his unending explorations of the world. My lap is the base camp from he can explore the Mt. Everests of his moment-to-moment existence. Nothing can be more important, in my opinion, than this secure post that serves as the eye of the storm in the midst of the hectic, bewildering flux and flow that exists all around him. On a daily, almost hourly basis, Brandon is thrust hither and yon from household to household; from home to car and car to car; from home to daycare, to supermarkets, stores, restaurants, to doctor’s and dentist’s offices in what must seem like an endless array of changing locales that he has no control over. Sometimes the changes are so frequent, the child doesn’t know where he will be putting down his head at night or who will be waking him up from a nap. I like to think that my lap is like a mobile nest or haven – available and secure – whatever the locale or circumstances.

The satisfaction is mutual. There is probably is no more pleasurable experience than holding a small warm body in your lap, a small person who relaxes into you with utter trust and the confidence that you will always be there for them – although they don’t think in terms of “always,” they think in terms of “this moment” – it’s only this moment that’s counts. My favorite moment is right after his evening bath, when he’s nude, wrapped in a towel, still warm and lulled by the water, and happy to cuddle and be still. While grandma strokes his silky back.

How satisfying to make the world safe for one child when you know there are so many – millions – for whom the world is a hostile place.

Rosemary with grandson BrandonAn ardent grandmother who lives in Santa Fe, NM - Rosemary keeps track of her experiences with young Brandon in “The Granny Diaries.” (read samples here) In 2004, she received an “Angel in Adoption” award from the National Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington.

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