I am an only child. If you talk to my mom, she’ll say something about how she got it right the first time so there was no need to keep trying, but the truth is, she wanted more kids. I’ve done my best to be a handful, but try as I might, I haven’t been able to make one equal more than one. This is probably why she hoards cats. It makes me heartsick that her body betrayed her hopes and gave her just one child. Because I’d much rather have a human sibling than 1,221 furry ones that shit all over the yard and puke on the porch.

The greatest gift I have given my mother is grandmotherhood. My daughters mean more to her than just about anything and I am beyond grateful for the role she plays in their life. Dave’s mom was gone before we met, so as far as grandmas go, my mom is the only one my girls will ever know. And she’s an incredible grandma. Also an insatiable grandma. She’d be the perfect grandma for a mom who is always on the lookout for someone on which to unload her kids. Unfortunately for her, I am not a mom like that. I’m actually pretty stingy with my kids. I don’t like to share – not even a dirty diaper – because I am the mom and I WILL DO IT MYSELF, ALRIGHT!?!? This may have something to do with my only-childness.

Hers has been a life of longing. First, for more children and then, for more time with her grandchildren. So imagine her delight when Julia asked her to perform a piano duet that would require not only practice time together, but also the opportunity to take her to piano class and a day of rehearsal – something that under ordinary circumstances I’d never let anyone else do. I think her heart actually burst open and birthed a new rainbow glitter heart that keeps expanding like the universe after the big bang. It was a pretty big deal.

My mom and Julia in the newspaper

Their picture was in the newspaper and that made it an even bigger deal.

On Saturday night, we attended the performance – a song called Black Cats Waltzing – which I recorded as you can see below.

I assure you I wasn’t drunk. I was filming with one arm and holding Phoebe with the other while we played a little tug-o-war with the camera strap. Add to that the fact that I was battling one big bitter green monster named Envy and the chaos makes sense.

After, I congratulated them and suggested to Julia, “Maybe, if you want to do it next year, I could-”

I was about to say “do it with you,” when my mom interjected, “YES!” and called piano bench shotgun. “We should definitely do it next year! What do you think, Julia? Do you want to do it with me next year?”

“You should,” I said. “What a lovely tradition!” I smiled and I took their picture.

Piano ensemble

I had made the choice to share. It turns out growing up sometimes takes a really long time.