This was my last post on thiswholegrandmathing.com. I hope you enjoy it.
Monday, December 28, 2009
As I sat in the living room Christmas Eve, 2009, I cannot help but to think of where my family and I were exactly one year ago, to the day. We were sitting in Amy and Matt's living room, opening up presents with their little guy, who was one day shy of being 4 months old. We had decided to go to their house to celebrate Christmas as the distractions and stress of their traveling to ours was, well, stressful for the baby, and it was important that he remain stress free so that he could eat properly.
I keep a pictures of Mason's first Christmas on my refrigerator and often back at this picture of the baby to remind me, should I ever feel whiny, or sorry for myself, of how blessed I am. This week I will be doing this same thing: Finding that perfect Christmas picture and putting it right beside the first one, again to remind me of how blessed I continue to be. You see, this Christmas was not one filled with worry. Nor did I shed tears worrying about how many millimeters the baby did or did not drink today. This was not a Christmas filled with tears of fear and stress, but one filled with tears of never ending laughter.
You see, Mason is now 16 months old, and was in charge of all the gifts this year. Yes, he should be the one wearing the reindeer antlers. He had a definite opinion on which gift should be opened and by whom, and that would be him, of course. He was the perfect present opener. He was in the glory. He liked to walk over to the tree, and select a package which needed to be opened. He had a preference for this large package, and he kept returning to it over and over again. "Grr" he would groan as he tried to lift this heavy box. "Oohh." he said as he tried to scoot the box out from under the tree. Obviously this package needed to be opened. He was not about to give up on that package just because he couldn't lift it. Finally, some one stepped up to the plate and hauled it out.
"Did you need help?" seemed to be what Mason was saying as he reached out at the packages we held in our hands and began to tear away at the paper. Accompanying these excellent paper tearing skills were words of delight. "Oohh, Aahh" and his favorite, new word, "Wow-wa" he would exclaim. In between these delightful words were phrases which were clearly understood by us, such as "I do it." "Mine."
He understood the game. He knew what needed to be done and exactly how it should be. "Did you know," Mason seemed to tell us, "that packages open easier if you stand on them while you rip off the paper?" "Let me show you." So, on top of the package Mason would hop, facing away from his audience and bending over so his head would be between his legs, he would reach down and rip off the paper. Why, we had no idea it would be easier this way! Thank you, Mason.
Poor Mason. I'm sure this is what he was thinking that Christmas Eve: "I have to show these people everything. They know nothing about Christmas Eve. How have these people functioned without me all these years? These people don't even know what to do with their gifts!"
"Do you know what is done with the big, stainless steel bowl that grandpa bought for my mama and Auntie Jana?" Mason asked. Again, "Let me show you" apparently was what that chatter meant. Off came the bow, which was placed upon his head, and into the bowl the kid climbed. Auntie Jana was not able to let this one pass as Grandpa said, "Give him a ride, Jana." Around and around in circles spun Mason. Mason is squealing in delight while the rest of us are laughing so hard tears are running down our faces. Yes, tears even as the bowl spins out of control and Mason goes flying out and lands on the carpet, with the bow plopping on the floor beside him. Yes, we laughed at his misfortune. I think (and hoped) we asked him if he was ok. I don't remember. We were laughing too hard. However, he must have been, as he grinned and giggled and climbed back in for another spin or two. That's Auntie Jana in the pictures with him (his favorite person, next to mama and daddy).
Yes, I cried last Christmas and I cried this Christmas as well. However, the tears I shed this year were not those of fear and helplessness at this beautiful baby boy's eating issues and his physical well being. No, this year the tears I shed were for another reason: tears of thankfulness because he is eating and tears of happiness because of his physical well being.
Yes, Mason, I will probably cry every single Christmas. Sneak a peek at Grandma Sherry. I'll be the one sitting on the sideline with watery eyes as I watch you open up your gifts. I'll be remembering your first Christmas and remembering the second one as well. No matter how many years will pass, these two events will be engraved in my mind and upon my heart. You see, Mason, you taught Grandma a new word that I will use to silently express my gratitude to God and my amazement at you every Christmas beginning with 2009: "Wow-wa."
Posted by Sherry D at 9:21 PM 4 comments Links to this post
Labels: Christmas 2009
This one is Saturday November 21,2009. I wrote this shortly after Mason called me grandma.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
....And he calls me "Ga ma."
Wow. This has been my lucky month. I have had the joy of seeing and caring for Mason quite a lot lately. His wonderful daycare provider, mama Pammy's mom, has been ill and needed a few days to spend with her mama, so I was able to head down to care for my little guy. She loves her mama deeply and is devastated that she won't be with her much longer. The depth of love is powerful.
As the time drew closer for Amy and Matt to have the baby, there was no way that I could have prepared my mind and heart for how much I would love him or feelings and emotions I get when I see how my daughter and her husband love and nurture that child. I always knew those two would be wonderful parents. It was evident by many things while they dated and their first married years: their eyes when they would talk to a little one, how their voices would soften, and this look would come about their faces when they were enjoying little children. What I didn't know was the emotions, how the depth of love that increases, deepens, widens, when you see your own child love her baby.
I just don't know if it is possible to put into words how your love for your children grows over the years. When your babies are born, there is this instant falling in love that occurs, and you think, "I cannot possibly love you ever more than I do at this moment." And it is true, for that moment. But, the depth changes. It's as if it spreads out and weaves itself into all the little spots, the nooks and crannies, in your body. You change every day, right along with them. They fall down and hurt, so do you. Their eyes light up, so do yours. They have fears and disappointments, you feel them. Yes, you do. In a different way than they do, but just as deeply. When they have joys, you too, experience their happiness.
My youngest daughter, Jana, is a special education teacher. If there was ever a woman made to be a teacher, it is my daughter. She cares, emotionally, for those children as if they were her own. She does not have to physically give birth to them to love them. Nor does they have to be biologically hers to hurt for them, to share in their disappointments and joys.
There is something amazing about that little girl of mine. She has this ability to be extremely compassionate, and she always has. She will go to great length to secure clothing for a child, spending her own money, bringing snacks into the classroom to distribute to those who are hungry, shopping on the weekends for them. She is not shy about asking for assistance. She will do whatever it takes to see that they have appropriate clothing, and any help they need to succeed.
But, she is no pushover, make no mistake about that. She expects and insists that they push beyond their current comfort zone, seeing new accomplishment, which brings them to a higher zone, and then, she expects and insists again that they learn more, think harder. She will not settle for any kid in her classroom just getting by, putting in their time until they graduate. They may not be academically brilliant, they can only read and write at a lower elementary level. But they will know how to handle money, get a library card, fill out employment forms, prepare food, order food in a restaurant, make Dr appointments and such. They will achieve. She expects and demands it.
Speaking of achievement, his name is Mason. He is amazing. He was up last weekend (the entire weekend) and I was one happy grandma. He is so much fun. Heading on 15 months next week, brings a new set of his own achievements! He understands "how" to put on a pair of pants, put his feet into shoes, how his socks go on and off, how to open up containers, and doors need to be shut. He know which drawer is his in the kitchen and where the toys are kept.
Thinking of toys bring me to a confession. I sure that there will be those of you out there who think this is pure laziness. That's OK. Think what you want. After all, you don't live here. But, when Mason leaves, it's OK with me if a toy is left on the living room floor. It's OK if a block is still laying behind the couch (as it is right now as I type). It's ok. It makes me smile. I smile because I remember how he stacked those blocks, dumped them out, handed one to me and carried them from room to room. It's OK with me. I'll pick it up, eventually. Another confessions: I left his barn sit out for two days, just like he left it. I don't care if it is considered "bad housekeeping."
All that really matters is this: He called me "ga ma" three times. Then he held is arms out to me to be picked up. He actually understood and made that connection. That IS all that matters. He called me "ga ma."
Posted by Sherry D at 8:19 AM 1 comments Links to this post