Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thank You

Was there ever a time I resented you?  Indeed, there were many.  Were there nights of worry about how I could find you, and complete the circle of life for my precious daughter?  Too many to count.  Did I curse you, and shake my fist at the air for what I perceived to be the legacy of loss with which I believed you saddled my daughter?  I did.  I blamed you for all that went wrong sometimes.  At others, I wept for what you were missing.

I wonder, were there nights upon nights upon nights that you sat up, rocking back and forth in the pain of knowing she was out there, somewhere?  On that special day in May, and on Christmas and a rainy Wednesday, was it hard?  I know it was.

My daughter, our daughter struggled with the mystery, the questions, the feelings of inadequacy and self doubt surrounding her early minutes.  Did you miss her?  Did you even think?

And yet here you are.  After almost 20 years, we have somehow brought you together.  And look at us.  Look at how it is, and how we are, and how it will be.

I am grateful.  I love you.  Thank you for one of the two most precious gifts of my life.




Monday, July 23, 2012

Early Morning Sunlight



First thing on Saturday morning, before the dogs stir, before the house is awake and the southern summer heat has descended, I look over at the creature sleeping near me in a tiny bed.  Left thumb in his mouth, his right hand flung carelessly, palm up, next to his head, a halo of soft, brown curls that smell so delicious and feel so fine.  Quietly, I lean over and whisper his name, but his sleep is so deep that the eyelids don't even flutter.  I make my way to the bathroom and back, to make another assessment.  Do I have time to make the coffee?  To check my Facebook page?  I always do.  He's a morning sleeper.  The Attorney and I have our morning warm cups and a quick bite, and I trundle back up the stairs.  This time, the whisper causes the eyes to open slowly, sweetly.  Before he notices that I'm up here and he's down in there, before he knows he's wet and hungry, the sweetest smile transforms his face and my life.

Down the stairs we go where his other grandmother awaits with the dry diaper and the bottle and our day is on high alert once again.

The sun streams through the stained glass window and on to the rug where he'll play on his belly.  Makes for a fun photo-op.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Scent

Dearest Julian,
When I pick you up and kiss you all over your face and neck and you smile and drool and coo, there is that one spot-that one little place on your neck that carries your inimitable fragrance, and I find it, bury my nose in it, and melt.  Every single time.  I love you,
Grammy

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Laughing

Dear Julian,
You laugh!  You don't just laugh because you're happy, which is so endearing, but you also laugh at something.  When you were bored in Whole Paycheck Foods the other day, I put my face out of sight, popped it back in your line of vision, and said, "Hey!"  You burst out laughing!  No matter how many times I did it, this beginner's version of peek-a-boo made you laugh.  Last night, you were unsettled.  I brought you into the kitchen where your other grandmother was fixing dinner, laid you on the counter, looked down at you, and played patty-cake with your little hands.  It made you laugh really hard.  The two of us, your loving grandmas, were so delighted by the sound of your laughter.  You are such fun.  We are going to record it on my phone next time, but til then, here's a smiling photo.
My Smiley Boy

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Three Months

Dear Julian,
Sweet Baby

Thoughtful Little Man
You're three months old now.  What a different little creature you are in just thirteen weeks and three days.  You sleep much differently, and more predictably.  That blessed sleep has made our weekend over night dates much easier.  You smile all the time.  You are calm, and happy, and sweet.   Your most endearing quality is your desire to snuggle.  I never saw a more cuddly, affectionate baby.  You're not easily frightened, you don't cry mysteriously, and you are very easily comforted.  And to top it off, you are among the most adorable baby boys on the planet, ever, since the dawn of time.  I love being your Grammy.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

For A Long Time Lurker

One Minute Old

Delighting Grammy

Still Puffy From All Mommy's Fluid Intake
I have over 1,000 photos of this baby.  A long-time lurker has requested more photos.  I'll post more each day.  His daddy snapped the top photo one minute after he came out via C-section.  The second one was taken the next day.  Poor Younger Daughter was in labor for something like 36 hours, and on IV fluids the whole time, so she and he were both puffy little balls of water for a while afterward.  That swelling gradually faded.  I thought he was cute then-and he was-but it didn't really look like him at all, I now know.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grow and Grow

Julian, Newborn

Julian, 1 month

Julian, 2 months
Julian, the sweet little angel.  Julian was born one day after his due date.  He is sweet, and snuggly, and interactive and bright.  He will be three months old on the 29th.  He sleeps through the night, he recognizes his parents and grandparents, he smiles all the time.  He is mimicking us now.  He blows bubbles.  He rolls over from front to back.  He coos and squeaks at us.  His personality is forming and he is so mellow.  My attempts at keeping a journal here have not been successful, but I hope to be better about that.
Julian is living proof that if you never, ever give up on your child, they might just reward you one day with the prize to end all prizes.  Someone like Julian.  Grammy's dear boy.
Julian, 3 months

Monday, June 25, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Delightful

I'm like a junkie.  I'm obsessed.  Is he eating?  Sleeping?  Learning any tricks?  How much is he awake every hour?  Has he cried much?  Did he, has he, is he, will he...?

I worked today and went to a volunteer job after work-a job I do every year, and really love.  The whole time I was wondering if there was any way I could get to the hospital tonight.  At a point, I looked at my watch, called my Younger Daughter, and asked, "Do you have any visitors?"  They didn't.  "Is it ok if we come?"  "That would be great!" was her boyfriend's response.

I left downtown,  picked up The Attorney, and off we cruised, out the highway, over the bumps, through the lights until we were there.  THERE.  Where he is.  Where my wonderful daughter and her partner are.  It felt safe and sweet and warm.  He's darling. And he delights me.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Julian, March 29th, 2012

Julian, you wonder child, you darling boy.  I stuff my nose deep in your neck and take a long, deep, breath in.  You smell sweet and new and beautiful, and I am drawn back to my own days as the mother of an infant.  Yet now, somehow, miraculously, you are differently dear.  Not more dear, or less...just different.  I wish for you, my sweetest boy, the finest pleasures life has to offer:  opera, jungle gyms, basketball  and Renoir.  I wish for rain puddles and belly laughs, warm and fuzzy slippers and wrinkled hands to hold you.  I wish you song birds and cherry trees and the smell of your favorite cake in my oven.  I have great plans for you,  my little love-plans of camping and road trips and sleepovers where we read under the covers with flashlights.  Come with me, my dearest angel-we'll dance in the moonlight and laugh at the wind.  The world is ours.  The memories start now.
XOXO
Grammy

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 10, 2012. Sixty.

Sixty is here.  I have so much.  I am healthy, happily espoused, and the lucky mother of two wonderful young women that I can call forever mine, as well as a slew of peripheral young'uns.  I have a home that I love, a job that I love, warm blankets and dry sox and clean unmentionables, every single day. 
I remember a time many moons ago when my beloved father was struggling with addiction, and I looked at his fight and thought how lucky he was.  He was lucky because many other men, of his age and without money or health insurance or any resources or a loving family, died every day from the wreckage of alcoholism.  I thought then, as I do now, that I was born under a lucky star.

So what does 60 show?  Gray hair?  Well, yes, a few.  But mostly...not yet.  Wrinkles?  Check.  I have eyelids and other part that sag are not so perky any more.  My feet tire easily, but my heart not so much.  I have more patience than I had at 50, more peace than I had at 40, more money than I had at 30, and more brains than I had at 20.  Fewer malted milk balls than I had at 10.

I sit in my den, the remnants of an afternoon fire evident on the hearth over my shoulder.  The house huffs and puffs its own warm sounds, and the deep breath of a very large dog reminds me that I am never truly alone.  The occasional car streaks by the front window, splashing up a winter rain in its wake and tearing my attention to the street.  It's late.  It's quiet.  I am content.  My breathing has slowed for the evening, my eyes are begging for mercy.  As I prepare to shut them for the night, I am met with this image.  A lucky star, indeed.



Happy Birthday

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012

This is Bear.  Since January of last year, I have been a volunteer at our local, city animal shelter.  On occasion, when a dog gets a cough and there is the threat of spreading the germ, I take her/him home to foster until s/he is well.  Bear is one such dog.  You cannot see from the photos the magnitude of this dog, but trust me:  he's big.  He's a sweet, beautiful pup whose people saw fit to dump him on the street to fend for himself.  He's been at the shelter since early December.  He doesn't have great manners yet, but we are working on them.  I hope to have him re-homed as soon as we cure his cough.  Happy New Year, Bear!