I thought it would be fun to look back over the last six months since Sweet E was born and see what I’ve learned (with apologies to Esquire).
#1) The human capacity for love doesn’t spring from one well, but many. My absolute love for my own child is so deep and wide that I struggled to believe that I could love another child as much. My mind couldn’t even fathom the possibility. Then, my grandchild was born, placed in my arms and every fear I had evaporated.
#2) I’m better in person than on Skype. The belly-raspberries, the neck-kisses, the bottom-pats, the nonsense-singing are all missing and in their place is a bunch of high-pitched HEY, BABY! and weirdo play-time voices, to which Sweet E looks on in confusion, as would I. Sorry about that, buddy.
#3) Growing up, some of the words coming out of my mouth were pegged blue (I blame the
dingos boys I hung out with). My mouth as a mommy was decidedly not blue. My mouth post-Boy grown, yet pre-granny, was known to be somewhat blue. My mouth post-granny is still somewhat blue. I’m a work-in-progress. Want proof? I wanted to end that sentence with the word “bitches,” but refrained. SUCCESS!
#4) After Boy graduated from college and went off to conquer his world, I kinda stopped noticing kids unless they were loud and annoying (not *your* children). As soon as we knew we were headed to Grandparent’s Land, we collectively started noticing ALL THE KIDS! Especially the babies. Sub-#4) It’s incredibly hard to refrain from asking to hold a stranger’s baby. I know you know what I’m talking about.
#5) The trip up I-35 is a beating unlike many you will find in your life. The traffic has grown into a beast of mythic proportions. We hate it so much that we use the side roads when we’re just running around doing errands. Yet, Boy can call and not even get out the full question, “Mom, can you come…” YES!
#6) When I hear a text come to my phone and discover it’s not a pic of Sweet E, I’m disappointed.
#7) When I get a text from Boy asking if we can Skype, I usually tell him, “Give me 5 minutes!” Although, I never take all five. I’m usually ready in like 1.33. Most of that is hollering to Husband to come on and putting on a decent shirt so I don’t scare the children.
#8) I think a lot about Sweet E growing up in this insane world and I worry. In part, my worry inspired my What I Will Tell Sweet E series. I don’t know that he’ll ever read it, but it’s helpful for me.
For years I wrote a political blog, yet after E’s birth I needed to surround myself with things that lifted and encouraged and expanded happiness. Politics is a heavy burden, and what was happening in our lives was the complete opposite. I felt I couldn’t continue when my heart had such overwhelming joy.
#9) Grandmother: I’m stunned this is where I find myself. I honestly never imagined it. And in six short months, I can’t imagine life any other way. I certainly don’t deserve this place, but am grateful for the blessing.
#10) Just like with Boy, I don’t like being apart from E. But what can I do? They live there; we live here. One day they may even live farther than there, they may live all the way over there. Again, not a thing I can do about that. What I can do is love them all where they’re at. I can do that. I’m good at love. And really, when I think about my role as a grandmother, how it started, how it will morph, how it will be in the far away future, that’s where it begins and ends: love. I can totally do that.