To the editor: Holidays create a problem in my life: Not during the time of preparation for them nor in the actual celebration of them, but in putting them away. As I write this, my house is still full of Valentine mementos. They may not be so timely right now, but did remind me to respond to your request for feedback on our moment of bliss.
I had thought I might never have grandkids because I was much closer to 60 than I was to 50 when the first one was born. As soon as I was getting somewhat accustomed to my new role, four more came quickly to join us in our play and to teach me the lessons of a grandmother. I feel that my life must be joined to theirs in a very unique way since they dilly-dallied so long about showing up: We just have to make up the lost time.
For seven years, the first grandson has known his place in my heart and, I feel sure, he fully reciprocates. He says, “I love you most, Gigi”. I understand. He doesn’t mean that he has more love for me than anyone else; I am not alone at the top of his love list. He means that he loves me at the ultimate level: It isn’t possible to increase that love. (I taught him that phrase, and so I can interpret its meaning to you.) He is such a little schmoozer and I know he tells that to his mom, all of his aunts, and his cousins, maybe to certain friends and possibly his teacher, but in that moment, for both of us, it is our heartfelt heart song.
His Christmas Day birthday made him five. Even so, the second grandson does not talk so much and he sometimes leaves us guessing as to what and why and when he does things. Maybe because he doesn’t talk that much and thinks he needs to maximize his words, he is sometimes, unintentionally I hope, blunt. He looks so angelic, but is such a little boy, boy that it makes me laugh to hear the things he says. After Christmas, he realized that there were a few more things he wanted, and started to work on the problem with me. In his haste, he blurted out, “Why did you get me this, Gigi? I don’t even like it.” His big, blue eyes looked at me and I could see the cogs turning in his mind as he put an (unexpectedly delightful) addendum to his statement, “but I love you, Gigi.” Momentary oopsie: momentous correction.
The oldest granddaughter is very verbal: It is her gift; her charm; her essence. Not being that far along in her fourth year, though, her very busyness and ability to craft excuses, sometimes leads to unexpected outcomes. One day ice cream dripped while she explained the plot of a movie; there was a picture that needed to be immediately painted and there was no time to put on the painting shirt, and she scientifically tested the hypothesis that the faster you pump the hand soap the farther it will squirt. All of these necessitated more than one change of clothing and when Busybody got home from work, she had to put out yet another change. But she then let me (the partner in the misdemeanor?) take over the actual task. I try to hurry the process and so I talk about how pretty the clean outfit is and how nice she’ll look when (I mean If) we ever get her into it. And then I say, “Hey, look, even your unders match. Your Mommy takes such good care of you. Aren’t we glad we have her?’’ Without thinking or hesitation, she replies, “Oh, yes. I think in Heaven she’s going to win the prize for Mommies.” In response to that moment, I suddenly can treasure the dribbles and drabs of the day.
The second granddaughter is well established in her terrific two’s. In repose, she looks like a blue-eyed, golden-curls doll cast in porcelain. During activity, she looks like a cabbage patch kid cast in durable plastic. With two older brothers, she can return klonks with gusto and deliver bonks as she boldly attacks from behind. The way she views herself, however, is more in keeping with my first description. No matter what her attire, she drapes everything beautiful around her neck or wrist or ankle, sticks gorgeous accessories in her disheveled hair and puts together extravagant outfits. Before breakfast, she puts on her best (that means frilliest) tutu with her pajama top, diaper, two stretchy headbands for necklaces and a peacock feather to wave around (after it fell out of her hair) and starts to whirl herself around the room while executing the high kicks, the backward leg movements, the air jumps of the ballerina she has become. She says, “Look, Grams” (the only grandchild who does not call me, Gigi. ???)wanting to display her unique dancing abilities. The editor pauses in her momly activities and starts to sing Angelina Ballerina and claps out the lively rhythm. We enjoy an impromptu recital. ScoobyDoo comes on the television and the moment dissipates. The actual moment, that is; the remembered moment will always be there.
At still under a year and a half, the Little Bits granddaughter doesn’t talk; she communicates. I arrive to share the day and she sees me from the next room. First, she squints and puts on her mad face. (To scare off a possible intruder?) Then she bends slowly from the waist with her hands on her hips as though to gain the advantage of another perspective. She jerks her head in a little double-take as she recognizes me, lets out a shriek of joy and runs toward me. I start to bend down to scoop her up for a hug and kiss of welcome, but as she comes almost within reach, she makes a perfect U-ey, and, without breaking stride, takes a couple more laps around the house, all the while, shrieking her thrill of recognition, being able to run and being in control. Hugs and kisses have to be kept for the times when life slows down; such as, when I leave; when she is tired; when she doesn’t feel good, or when she deems the time is appropriate. In our own way, we each savor the moment, before we seize the day.
It seems my moments of bliss come in multiples of five and I love each one the most.
Posted by The Editor for Gigi.