I have chosen this because I somehow believe that I am “practically perfect in every way!”
Nonsense. Push it aside and you find an older woman (not even middle aged by definition, although I still consider myself in that age range) who tries so much to be practically perfect and be it to everyone. STILL.
I actually chose the title of this article today because my great striving this holiday season is to go see the newest Mary Poppins movie. I love Mary Poppins. I want to be Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins has every hair in place. She wears wonderful hats. She has a carpet bag that houses a mirror, a large plant, and all things magic. She has an image that competes with her in the mirror! Mary Poppins jumps into chalk drawings and creates an adventure. Mary Poppins sees the humor, and rolling her eyes, joins in as eccentric Uncle Albert rolls with laughter on the ceiling. Mary Poppins spouts wisdom. Mary Poppins looks at adults and says things like “supercalifragilisticexpialidoscus.” Nonsense that no one understands, but eventually accept and not grudgingly. I want to dance on chimney tops with my Bert (yes, my Bert and I actually DO ballroom dancing)!
I love my grandchildren and want to be their Mary Poppins. I want to look at their parents–my children–and have them see a crazy old woman who zips up and down staircases with their children, doles out sweet tasting goodies that are good for you to awe those little children into thinking their grandma is magical, when really she is just a crusty old lady with acceptance issues! But the crusty old lady thinks her grandchildren are the cats’ meow and will do anything to love and entertain them. Anything to leave her mark on their lives. Anything to become a historical creature, without doing anything illegal, of course. And when I leave, whether temporarily through the clouds, sporting my umbrella, or forever on that day, I want to be remembered.
That’s why I do the things that I do. I write letters that I hope my children (and grands) read, I write journals, so they know who is living in the hyphen, and I become an historical person that actually LIVED, not a vague name on an ancestry listing. I may never be a national figure, or international figure like Mary Poppins, I will never be a notorious queen, such as Mary, Queen of Scots, or poor Ann, who lost her head over Henry VIII’s whim. But for what I am hoping is that, for two generations to come, I am.
So let me strip that Mary Poppins middle name from the title, and be Grandma. Perfect in every way. And not even practically!