Sunday, November 9, 2008


I was thinking today about how sad it was that my kids don't know their Grandma Kemp very well. When we chose to move across the country from my family we knew that was one of the sacrifices we were making. Since my mom still works she can't visit as much as she wishes she could, and air travel has become prohibitively expensive. We stay in touch through phone calls, e-mail, and the exchange of photos, but my kids don't know her, and that hurts.

At the same time, they know more about her than they think they do. For example, today was pomegranite day. That's the one day each fall that we all sit around the table and pull apart a pomegranite to eat. The kids don't know that this is a Grandma Kemp tradition, but I do. That's one of the things we used to do as kids. We also try to hit at least one coconut each year with a hammer, and we have put together meals by giving each child $2 and letting them choose something healthy at the grocery store to share - definitely a Grandma Kemp. I hope they know that the reason they know how to dig for potatoes is because my mom taught me, and I taught them. And when they grow up they will remember always the smell of wheat being ground through a wheat grinder, just like I remember from when I was young. And I occasionally even let my kids choose their own frozen pizzas for dinner, 'cause that was something we did with Mom. I'm teaching Kate how to play jax, just like my mom taught me (minus the cinnamon sticks) and my little girl makes doll clothes out of my fabric scraps just like my sisters and I did as kids. Mom taught me to sew. That's why there are endless scraps around.

I'll make sure to tell them that the reason they are never without a book is because I'm never without a book, and that's because Grandma Kemp was never without a book. EVER.

Mom raised us on her own, and she didn't have much time, energy, or money to spare, but I don't feel like we missed out at all. I am so grateful for everything that she gave to us, all the memories that we have.

Pomegranites. Go figure.


Kara said...

I can't eat a pomegranite either without thinking of us all sitting around the table in shirts that were approved to withstand pomegranite staining.

Mom has passed on more little traditions than I think she knows.

Christina Munyan said...

That was always one of my favorite memories too.