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Of Wine Glasses and Tweens

My husband works a two on, two off schedule–two weeks, that is.  Tonight he came home from his most recent shift.  He brought his two youngest children with him.  It’s summer, so they spend time with us when he is not out of town working.  They always get silly when they get home after being gone for awhile.  My stepdaughter was doing the arms flailing, giggling thing in the kitchen.  In her flailing, she knocked a wine glass off the counter, onto the rather unforgiving tile floor; I watched it shatter into a million tiny glass-sharded pieces.  One of my favorites. 😦
She looked at me, eyes wide, mouth open.  And I sighed and said, “Well, go get the broom and let’s clean this up.”  But I didn’t clean it up.  I went down the hall to my room and sent my dear hubby out to clean it up with her, while I worked on not freaking out about it.
And then I had a flash of remembrance.  I remember my grandma helping me clean up a broken glass in her kitchen.  I might’ve been 3 or 4. I had broken this glass…I felt awful. It was my favorite, the one with the Snow White decal on it.  I knew that she was always very careful with her things because stuff costs money and they couldn’t necessarily replace it. And I had smashed it being a little kid. I was so afraid she would be mad at me.
What I remember: Light shining into her kitchen thru the crystals hanging in her windows, rainbows dancing on the floor and the walls…And her hugging me and saying it was just a glass and we would just clean it up.
And we did.
She died when I was 5. I don’t remember a lot about her, but I do remember she was kind. Always kind. And I knew she loved me, and cared more about me than a glass.
I still have a long way to go before I am that good.  My dear, beautiful bonus daughter, I’m sorry I didn’t do it right tonight.  But I am learning, and I do know this:  It is easier to clean up a broken wine glass than it is to fix the broken heart of a child.  I will not forget again.
Me and my Grandma Tanner, probably 1978, at Bear Lake.  She died the next year.

Me and my Grandma Tanner, probably 1977, at Bear Lake, Idaho.

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