Crouched under the table, I am surrounded by the jean clad legs of my aunts and my mother. At the head of the table are my grandmother's legs. I stay close to hers because if I need to I can always lean against them. She will ruffle my hair and maybe even slip me the last drop of her coffee, sweet with cream. They are talking about people at our church. They say things like "I hate to gossip." And then they tell stories about flirtations, betrayals, scandals. I know many secrets, and sometimes I look at people on Sunday and think about what I know.
Mostly as I sit there, playing sometimes with Barbies or more likely with some paper and crayons, I imagine the day when I will join the ranks of these women. I like to think about me sitting there with my own cup of coffee. I will wear make up like my youngest aunt. And I will wear bright jewelry like my mom. I will toss my head like my middle aunt, and be bold as she is with my words and opinions. I want to sit with my grandmother like an adult and share confidences.
Today my grandmother pulls me to her lap, and I snuggle into her even though I am too old for such things. She smells like Oil of Olay and Mary Kay make up. She kisses me loudly and says "You are never old to be my baby." And the aunts laugh. But I think it's true, and am unsure if this is something to mourn.