Bad Grandparents

I keep thinking about the many family mythologies that exist, in spite of what we know. One of those categories is grandparenting.
Pretty soon we will find out more.

Saturday night we
invited our neighbors
down the hall
for some champagne
they are young
they are blond they have
two boys sixteen months
apart in October they’ll have
a third boy we like them a lot
they are elevator friends
I wanted them to tell us
what their parents did
right and wrong as grandparents
because I am a little nervous
about the Grandparent Thing.
Having a child being a parent
one of those subjects too
many Hallmarky adjectives
few people tell the truth
about The Hard Parts.
My polite blond neighbors
spoke a long list
of Unfortunate
Intrusiveness. I wrote
their words in a new notebook
I will call Bad Grandparenting
Annie said her daughter in law
told her once
you had your child
this is mine.
Of course her
daughter in law
is right.
Even so.

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Do you not have a list of things your own parents, parents-in-law, and well-meaning interested others did that felt right and wrong to you? Things you promised not to do to when it was your turn? I wish you wouldn’t worry. Be kind, I would say, which is the best advice for every situation, anyway. Kind to the baby is easiest, kind to new parents who want to do the right thing may require more intentionality, more maturity, more true love. But still. You will all be fine.

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