Writer’s Block: Granny Lil’s House
A young girl learns valuable life lessons at her grandmother’s knee.
Ilive at Granny Lil’s house. It is a small house that used to be the colour of Christmas oranges but now is the colour of the sun before bedtime. The porch looks to be as old as Granny herself and all the windows look like picture frames. It is a warm house with many smells: salmon, cinnamon and lilacs, even in winter.
I live here because my mom is going to school in the city. I miss my mom, but I like it here and Granny likes to have me. I kind of feel sorry that my mom is all by herself, but when she is done school we can all be together again and she can get a better job. My teacher says it is not right for my mom to leave me here, but I think that maybe she just doesn’t understand. Lots of kids on the reservation live with their grannies. It seems to me that leaving your granny on her own is about as bad a thing that anyone could do.
I will turn nine this summer and my mom will be home and all my aunties, uncles and cousins will come to my party. Sometimes, my cousins tease me because I don’t look like them; they are all dark like chocolate. My mom says I look like my dad because of my blonde hair and green eyes. I have seen his picture and his hair is blonde, but I can’t see his eyes. Sometimes, the other kids on the res call me names because I am different; Granny Lil says that people need to learn to see with more than just their eyes. I think she means that just because a person looks a certain way on the outside doesn’t mean that you can know how they are on the inside.
Granny takes me berry picking and is teaching me how to bake. One time, we also made moccasins for pow-wow. At night she tells me stories of the olden days, when she was a girl and even before that. Granny went to the government school, but she doesn’t talk about that very much. She says we all come from the same place and that we are all brothers and sisters because our mother is the earth and our father is the sky. She says that our grandmother is the moon and our grandfather is the sun. I asked Granny if she was the moon, but she just laughed. I don’t see how the sun and moon could make a baby, but if Granny says so, it must be true. My teacher says that it is a myth, a made-up story, but my granny doesn’t lie so the teacher must not know any better.
Sometimes at night when I am in bed, I miss my