I have seen the film – it is a nutty, funny flick (film or movie would be over-selling it) and best seen at a drive-in theater.
I also lived this movie last week when T. and I went to Wisconsin to visit my mom. Instead of a white bigot and soul brother the transplant was my mother a 79 year-old lady who worries a tad too much and my son a 4 year-old boy who doesn’t seem to have a care in the world.
We arrived on a shuttle van from Minnesota because the last time I flew directly into the airport in my small hometown the 12 year-old stewardess who spent the prep time re-applying her make-up asked prior to take off for a volunteer – from the six of us on board – to sit across from her for balance. Also – the bag handler who has double duty as the person who directs the planes in had to kick the baggage compartment several times before it shut.
My mom picked us up and we loaded up the car. Then I got in the driver’s seat and she got in back with T. and that’s the way it was for the next 7 days. It was like Driving The Two Miss Daisy’s. They talked to each other on all our outings. I was included when there was any discussion on directions.
My mom and I had two major arguments that involved raised voices. My son hit me during one and then petted my mother’s arm and said, “Mommy, Mommy”. In fact by day three she was almost exclusively called “Mommy”. Before, she had been known as “Bubba”. Bubba became conversational as in “Bubba, aren’t we great?” And, “Mommy” became the more formal use such as “Isn’t real Mommy lame?”
When I called a halt to a third Popsicle Grandmamma plead his case while he cried.
“It’s like juice. Would you say no to juice?”
“Yes, I would because it’s 8:00pm and both have sugar. He can have water.”
While we were gone our city’s art walk included the studio where he takes art classes. All the students who attend classes would have their art on display. My mom told everyone we saw that T. ‘s paintings were being shown in a gallery. She also compared his work to Picasso.
They slept together every night in the same bed. In the morning they laughed about what a blanket hog he is and how he flops like a fish while sleeping.
This merging doesn’t threaten me or even annoy me. It makes me happy. They are both fulfilling their destiny of grandparent and grandchild to become the thing with two heads.*
* This relationship my mother has with T. was unexpected. My mom was never the type to push motherhood or grandchildren. In fact, she might have pushed in the other direction. A friend of hers who stop by for a visit while we were there told me that my mom used to listen with patience but not much interest to the tales of other grandmothers. But, after T. he became her primary subject of conversation. It is clear he is it for her.