Embracing My Inner Baba

“Does this foot look bigger than this one?” my grandmother often asked, showing me her bare feet. I checked her feet for subtle size differences, even though her question seemed ridiculous.
Just a few weeks ago, I caught myself staring at my own feet, asking my husband the same question. Before you stop reading, I promise this post is not about odd-sized feet.
It is about me turning into my grandmother.
When I was little, my grandmother was never satisfied with my cup placement at the table. She was always moving it away from the edge, sometimes even out of my reach. I never understood this until I had a son with accident-prone elbows. I moved his cup six times during last night’s supper alone.
One of Baba’s favorite words was, “cekai,” Croatian for “wait.” I heard it when I was bounding down her front porch steps to play, or venturing into the backyard to pick pecans. I heard it when I raced to the kitchen after she said I could have ice cream or help her make waffles.
Now it rings in my ears when I tell my son we can make cookies, and he lifts the bag of flour out of the pantry before I can even get to the kitchen. “Wait!” I say out loud as my inner baba says, “cekai!”
Does turning into your mother skip a generation? I wonder. Nah, I have plenty of snark and sarcasm that definitely came from my mom. I’m not far off in the looks department either.
But when I give my son a spoonful of honey and lemon juice for a sore throat, that’s Baba all the way. I only wish I inherited more of her cooking traits and fewer of her hovering habits and foot oddities.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fix myself a cup of hot tea, put my slippers on, and go look at TV. Blue Bloods is on, and that Tom Sellick is a handsome young fella.

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