I went out to dinner with my son Sean and grandkids Kiera and Drew tonight. ‘Twas my 73rd birthday, during which I insisted that all screens remain dark and that they all sing to me, quietly, Happy Birthday! So they did, or Sean did, and the kids looked sort of embarrassed, probably especially at their Grannie Annie who was wearing her Baby Picture Project t-shirt to this happy event, which did, despite a slow beginning — I caught Drew furtively looking at his screen and so yanked iphone from him, told him, laughing, that I got to make and enforce the rules during my birthday dinner — turn out to be happy. Especially when the food arrived at this little Korean restaurant in Maynard Massachusetts, “Little Pusan,” where Sean and his family have been going for years, but Sean had never had Bi BiBop (I think that’s how you spell it). The waitress/manager overheard me saying that the first time I had Bi BiBop was for lunch in the Seoul Airport, and loved it so much that I had it for dinner too (we were there for 12 hours, waiting to get to Thailand). As I said, she overheard me say this, and said, “This is better.” Then added, “I’ve beenin the Seoul airport, and had the Bi Bibop there.” Hilarious!
But that’s not what made this birthday extraordinary. What did it for me was some remark that 15-year-old Kiera made that showed me she is awake and aware as to what’s going on with this country — and the world. Not only that, but her epistemological position (though she probably doesn’t know that phrase) is identical to mine: keep open to possibilities, don’t assume that anybody has all the answers, always look for the story beneath the story . . . On and on!
I have never, ever, talked with Kiera about these things that matter so much to me. I assumed she was a “normal” 15-year-old, interested in boys and clothes and makeup. But no! She also carries this deeper dimension around with her, and, she told me later, she and her girl friends debate each other on these matters.
WOW! So very happy to know that my legacy is being carried on by one so young and talented. As I told the kids this evening, this world we are ruining will be yours to make right again. You are the ones who are born to this task.
P.S. In the car on the way to the restaurant, when I asked, Kiera told me, in very succinct phrases, the differences between facebook, snapchat, and twitter. Unfortunately, I can no longer remember them.
P.S. Note I’m wearing my Baby Picture Project t-shirt. The kids thought it was funny. Sean, as usual, expects this kind of thing from his mother.