So yesterday I literally could not keep track of my grandson at the Aquarium (his mother was with him every instant) and an enormous gulf of misery passed over me that I couldn’t keep track of my kin any more. Keith appeared from nowhere and we listened to the symphony of sea lions – one in particular was trying to set records for volume, purity of tone and likeness to the vocalizations of Chewbacca, to tremendous comic effect, which was immediately stripped away when I realized that it was the self-expression of a trapped intelligence. Not a great intelligence, but smart enough to know that it’s swimming around in it’s own shit all day every day.

There were many little gems scattered in the hum of commerce and children. All the moms looked perfect – and miserable. All the dads looked comfortable – and blank. All the kids had expressions that were ready to veer into terror at any time.

Alex seemed to have a good time. He was running around like a fool for most of it.

Four times now Katie’s been to the Aquarium and the octopus has not come out. I come and she’s not just out, she’s clinging to the glass so you have a lovely view of her suckers if you’re an 18 month old toddler. Seriously, she was doing everything but ‘show the beak’ (you never see that unless you are very very intimate with an octopus for months and months and feed it etc).

It is possible I have some octopus-fu. If I do it’s inadvertent.

Another little tweak – passing through the gift shop without the slightest desire to purchase something.

Another little tweak – Keith saying ‘that was fun but exhausting’ afterward.

Another little tweak – being so annoyed with poor little Alex when he was kicking the seat at the restaurant, and seeing that reflected in Katie and Keith. We left soon after.

Feeling topped up with family love but also uneasy at how useless I am as a grandma.


45433 is wordcount for HOTM


Published by


Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

Leave a Reply