Dear Michael and Caroline,
Look at my grandson. Just look at him. Is he the most beautiful grandson you ever saw? He’s mine, you know. All mine. Yes, I’m his grandmother, his Nana, and he’s my grandchild, the very first.
That’s how it was with my Nana, the only Nana who ever really mattered to me. That’s what she said and that’s how she thought.
Look at my grandson. He’s so smart. That’s why he’s bored in school and never does his homework and gets such poor grades. He’s so clever.
That’s why he’s always making wonderful observations at museums and in restaurants and wherever I take him. He’s so sensitive, too sensitive. That’s why he talks back to teachers and gets in trouble and everything bothers him and he feels hurt and angry half the time. Look at him and listen to him and marvel at him.
All hail, Prince Robert!
He’s the smartest, most beautiful, most sensitive grandson in history. I would do anything for him – take him to Rappaport’s toy store on Third Avenue or the Guggenheim or Saks Fifth Avenue or Schrafft’s or Chock Full o’Nuts.
I’ll make him French Toast and coffee with a lot of milk and sugar and I’ll let him stay up later than his parents do and watch whatever he wants on TV.
He can do no wrong and never will. He’s my grandson, after all, so how could he? It’s genetically impossible. Moses had nothing on him. He’s perfection itself. He’s everything to me. He’s my second chance, a child who’s neither deaf nor wildly disobedient, so unlike my daughter and son, a chance to start over, a clean slate, a child to spoil worse than rotten, a child over whom I might exert full control.
Everything he does is right. Even everything he does wrong is right. Every word he writes is brilliant. He’s going to accomplish something big.
That’s how it felt with her. She hovered, my guardian angel, my Greek chorus, my personal cheerleading squad. She pulled out all the stops, showered me with compliments and peptalks, assured me I could accomplish anything. I was the chosen one. I could walk on water.
It meant the world to me back then, especially at my youngest, getting this extravagant attention, this unwavering love. Every child should at least once in life be so lucky. Every boy should have at least a moment to feel like a prince.