That was August last night about to dig into his chicken and dumplings. He ate a good amount and then it was bath time which he wanted (surprise, surprise) his Boppy to supervise and then it was bedtime which is when Mer steps in. He was so tired. He even told me he was tired so we agreed on just one book and it was a short one. Then he got got down on his bed and we went through the covering routine and he had Zippy, the very old chimp and the tiny sock monkey that Lily made me when she was a child. They sit up on the mantel of my room, my household gods. First August had to ask a million questions about Zippy. What did it say on his shirt? Why did he have all those buttons on his overalls? Why was he so old? When we had exhausted that subject he moved on to the little sock monkey.
"How old was Lily when she made this?"
Of course I don't remember but I said, "Maybe ten. Or eleven or twelve. Like Owen's age."
"How did she make it?"
"With a needle and thread."
"Was she all alone when she made it?"
"What if she got lonely while she was making it?"
"Well, you don't really get lonely when you're doing something you like doing."
"What if she got scared while she was making it?"
"She could have come to me and we could have talked about what she was scared of. Are you feeling scared?"
And then with great bravado he said, "Not a BIT!"
He may have been a little concerned about not being at home but mostly I think he was just stalling for time by this point. He pointed out that he didn't want to fall into the fireplace (his bed is on the floor between our bed and the fireplace which was not on) and so I put a screen in front of it. Then he didn't want to fall onto the screen so we moved his bed closer to our bed meaning it was practically touching it. Then he asked what would happen if he needed us and tried to wake us up but he couldn't? I told him that we WOULD wake up but as an added bit of security, showed him how he could poke me with his finger if I didn't. Then he demonstrated that he couldn't climb into our bed if he needed to which was a complete farce because as we all know, that kid could climb the refrigerator if he wanted something on the top of it. So I offered to scratch his back and he said yes, and I gently scratched his tender little back, my fingers barely tracing his soft skin. He finally asked about thunder, what should he do if thunder woke him up and I told him that we would be right there and finally he went to sleep and it did thunder and he didn't wake up.
Until 7:30 this morning at which point his grandfather got up with him and I went back to sleep until almost nine which made me feel like a horrible grandmother but bizarrely no one had died of starvation and I made sourdough pancakes and bacon and that child ate FOUR pancakes.
He and Boppy played Battle after breakfast, his first time, and he caught on quickly although he's still learning his numbers. I learned my numbers from my grandmother playing cards with me and I still remember that even though it was about four thousand years ago. We worked in coloring books and did a puzzle and other fun things and then Daddy came to get him.
"Want to go home and see your mama?" Vergil asked him.
"Yes," he said, and toting his backpack off he went.
Such a good little man.
The thought struck me last night that although "they" say that grandchildren will keep you young, I beg to disagree. I never, ever think about death as much as I do when I'm with my grandchildren. Not in a morbid way but just a matter-of-fact, inevitable way. I am not going to be around to see these children all grow up, graduate from college, discover exactly who they are, fall in love, have babies of their own. Even if I live another twenty years, which is of course possible, I'm simply not going to be able to get through their journey with them. Of course not.
That's just the way it is and I don't want to live to be a hundred and something, propped up at some nursing home tied into a wheelchair with a cake that I do not understand the meaning of in front of me.
But I can't help but think about it. How they will have their own lives that I am no longer a part of except for whatever memories they hold of me. And if that's selfish thinking, well, I'm guilty of it.
But part of it is not so much selfish as narcissistic- what will they do without me and their grandfather? We are a part of their lives that's mostly just love. We're not responsible for their discipline or education, we don't have to make the hard decisions about any of their rearing. We can respond with our thoughts if asked, but they all have wonderful parents who do and will do the hard work.
We're basically just here to love and appreciate them, to think they're marvelous and to tell them that.
I really want to make sure that they have enough years of us to incorporate all of that into their very souls.
Today, when August was playing cards with his grandfather, I told him, "August, I love your beautiful hands." I always have.
And because I'm his grandmother, I can tell him that easily. His grandfather gave a bit of a snort-chuckle because that's not something he would ever say to anyone, probably, but he tells our grandchildren how much he loves them in other ways. Grandfather ways.
And here's another thing- I don't want them to be sad when we die. They all seem to be quite aware that we are older than their parents and will die at some point in the if not-near future, the sooner-rather-than-later future. I want them to be just be happy that we were here.
And know, without one doubt, that we loved them unconditionally.
Well, that was a bit of a Sunday night musing.
I picked our salad from the garden tonight.
The Bok Choy, which I can only describe as minuscule, has already bolted.
And it's January.
It'll still make a good salad.
Your winter garden salads are enviable. August and I have similar things over which to obsess lists not in detail but in scope. I thought August had musician hands the day he was born. I’m sorry August is my favorite grandchild it seems unfair to the others but it’s true. A true Sunday.ReplyDelete
These salads are the most delicious thing on earth. I swear.Delete
And it is perfectly fine for you to have a favorite grandchild. I love that you have such feelings for August.
You nearly made me cry with this post. Your relationship with your grandchildren is so special. That love will live forever, you know.ReplyDelete
I hope so, Jennifer! I really do.Delete
Your comments about how grandparenting doesn't mean years and years were lovely. I have the same thoughts and ponders. It makes me sad that my grandchild is 3 states away but I try to make sure she has tangible and lasting evidence that I love her with letters and homemade felt play food and ornaments and on and on. I have tried to picture the layout of your home whenever you've posted an inside picture and I'm so curious about it. I would love to see how you've decorated and furnished each room. And maybe you could even draw a floor plan! Yeah, that's the ticket!It would be fun to see.ReplyDelete
Me too! So curious.Delete
I actually tried to draw a floor plan yesterday and boy, do I suck at floor plans! But it's an interesting idea and I'm definitely contemplating it. It's a confusing house, even when you're in it.Delete
Your thoughts on grand parenting make me think of mine. They were not as verbal about their affection but I felt it all the same and still miss them. It is no wonder August ate four pancakes after hiking three miles. What a lucky kid.ReplyDelete
The kid can definitely eat!Delete
My grandparents weren't verbal about their affection at all and definitely there was almost no physical display but I knew they cared. I really did.
grandchildren I can not imagine, until i read your posts.ReplyDelete
I couldn't imagine it until Owen was born.Delete
We had no children, but have instead nurtured younger souls who have entered our lives at various times and ways........ but, the love you endow your grandchildren with will live forever in their hearts. Be assured of that. This post made me cry as well. What a beautiful family you all are.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Susan. We are far from perfect but we definitely love each other.Delete
Owen is ten? I think. So, you'll see him through his post high school schooling. You could even see him married. He's so first child down to earth and directed.ReplyDelete
And Levon is three, I think.You'll see him well into his teen age years.They all will just be stopping by then, and later on back in the car and off. But they will stop by.
My mom was married late, for her generation. She was 25, older before her first child. She lived to enjoy two great grandchildren. She will be more than happy to have you exceed that. Every time her atoms bounce by she's saying, "You go, Mary!"
Levon is only two. And of course none of us have any guarantee about the future. We shall just have to see how things unfold, won't we?Delete
Thank you, Joanne, for channeling your mama's message to me.
You've voiced my thoughts as I look at my almost 3 year old grandson. It makes me sad to think I won't be around when he is a grown man, perhaps with children of his own. Instead I will treasure every minute I have with him, and I'm hopeful his memories of me will be joyful.ReplyDelete
Same here, Maebeme. And that is the way to think about it, I am sure.Delete
I thought more about our own mortality while raising the Two Grandchildren I Adopted, but now one is grown and the other is only 4 years from grown. Most of the other Grands are grown and some have their own Families now too... so you often live longer than you think you might and get to enjoy some of their Adult Years and being a Great-Grandparent. I cherish every moment of Now with all that it holds with them, Old Age being a privilege not afforded to many.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the perspective, Ms. Bohemian. You are right. Now is the only moment we truly have.Delete
We got to see my grandmother til nearly 97, and she got to be a great-grandmother. We were lucky, but it was too long. It would have been better for her to go out earlier, before her younger son died, before her mini strokes. And of course, if we had any say, my mother, on balance, could have lived to see her grandchildren.ReplyDelete
However, there is no question that you gave built a huge, powerful legacy of how to live lovingly and your grandchildren will be held in the bosom of that all their lives and know where it comes from.
I wish your mother had lived to see her grandchildren. So unfair!Delete
Thank you, Jo.
I love all his stalling tactics before going to bed! Smart cookie. And I can't wait to become a grandma because grandchildren are the greatest!ReplyDelete
When he tried to show me how he couldn't climb up on the bed I knew he was running out of things to stall with. He is a smart boy.Delete
Grandchildren are pretty darn great for sure.
look at all those lovely little greens! my oldest grandkids are in their early 20s so hopefully I'll see them married and maybe one or two great grandchildren if they even bother with the way the planet is becoming uninhabitable. their dad is already ready for grandkids. you are forging such close relationships with yours as it should be, they will be a part of your life until the end.ReplyDelete
Ellen, I can't even imagine you as a great-grandmother but yes, it could certainly happen.Delete
I guess it's natural to think about your place in the minds of those you love, and what kind of legacies and memories you're creating and leaving for them. Perhaps one benefit of not having any kids is that I never think about that kind of thing!ReplyDelete
And in some ways, Steve, that must be a huge relief.Delete
Thank you Ms. Moon for introducing me to "Pairs with:Life" I love the writing. So good.ReplyDelete
Jesus, Sundays are Weird...Please don't call me Jesus. You can call me The Redeemer, The Messiah, The Son of God, Christ Almighty but not Jesus thank you very much.ReplyDelete
Reading this blopost caused something to get in my eyes and it made them watery once again.
Mr. P! You cry? Really? That astounds me somewhat. You do have a tender streak, don't you?Delete
Whenever you reflect on how your grandchildren will remember you, I think of my own children, and my mother, who was such a mother as you are to your children, and I can tell you without any doubt that you will live in their hearts always. My children hold my mother close to them, my niece wanted to wear her ring at her wedding. My mother did not meet the man she married, she met him a month after her grandmother died, but still she was sharing the moment with her, because she will be a part of her, always. It is a precious, precious thing.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful thing to think of your niece wearing her grandmother's ring in her wedding to have her close. I love that. Thank you for telling me that story.Delete