Preparing–
June 6, 2013

      Trying to get ready for not sure what and not sure when–Son is working on the process of becoming parental unit to Fireball but not a clear idea of what the continuum is or where the finish line is–  Meanwhile having her on the weekends, presumably until his daycare can officially enroll her–not that they offered daycare as a choice for me when I felt unable to take her full time–

      Rose will be here Sunday night to begin our summer journey of one week on and one week gone–looking forward to her Sunshine presence but still at a loss at exactly how to synthesize her time with Fireball’s–  Have had some practice on the weekends but wonder what it will be like if/when Fireball is here full time.  Will there be jealousy, instead of eagerness now about her “sleepovers”?  Will sharing previously owned clothes/toys/books lose it’s luster?  Will she feel displaced by the “newer model”?  Will daycare for Fireball seem more exciting than spending time with Grandma?

       And how will Grandma hold up here?  The past year has held such huge loss that was so debilitating and now there is restoration but somehow the energy to deal with it seems so insufficient.  I never expected this outcome at all and I am still at such a loss at how to deal with it.  I love Fireball so much and yet to trust in the fact that her presence may well become part of my daily existence is still an overwhelming thought—that I am at a loss at how to prepare for–

Fireball – Where are you?
November 12, 2012

Wondering about who is cuddling my little Fireball this day–over three months since I have seen her. Mama was on the edge of hospital and now she has fallen over and it hasn’t been a pretty sight.
I want to see my grandbaby and hold her in my arms–amazing how all these bureaucrats can be so unaware of what seems so simple. To have a baby be with the people who love her the most.

Summertime with the Sunshines–
June 26, 2012

Hard to believe three months without a post but being grandma times two continues to be a challenge as well as a joy–My Rose is growing and thriving thru the year of being three (my, at least up til now, favorite age of childhood–I seriously believe it is the best year) and Fireball is 3 1/2 months.  Rose continues to be my ever sunshine and Fireball appears to be following in that path also, though she has a “melt steel” look in her repertoire that makes me definitely question what I was saying to have that glare directed at me.

     They are indeed warm, sweet, beautiful little girls, in my grandma opinion, but I think they are much like icebergs with a great deal of them that is beneath the surface–the story going on behind the story.  I pray for them constantly that they will be able to come to terms with all that entails with the strength of personality that I see them both exhibiting.   Even a new playmate who struggled with pronouncing my Rose’s name ended up morphing it into “Angel”–seeing something that I knew was in her, though I never saw it in her name before.  The prayer that goes into these radiant sunshines to have them dazzle so brightly has always been answered with a resounding “Yes!” and I trust that God will continue to bless the world, as God already has, with their amazing light!

Grandmama indeed–
April 3, 2012

Today I received my first memorable validation of the grandmama status that I had once hoped to have and I didn’t even have to be the one to explain  it–the woman who gave it just knew.   My Rose and I were at the grocery store and the cashier in the lane adjacent to ours said hi to her.  I was rather surprised as she is probably my least favorite store employee because she has often treated me rather crankily–including catching me obliviously using expired coupons and telling me she was doing me a favor by not letting me use them, which perhaps I may understand  if I were a youth and she was my elder but she is the far younger of the two of us.   She then asked Rose where her mommy was and my cashier interrupted something to the effect that I was the mommy grandma–she knew!  The other cashier asked if that was indeed so–that I took care of her and I answered proudly “yes”  and regretfully “sometimes”.    They also commented on her happiness and cuteness (well, of course I know all about that!)–but the best part of all was that the woman knew where my heart truly is–

Where??
August 2, 2011

I cannot understand where this summer has gone to–I think  it could perhaps have melted because of the way too many hot days we have had–or perhaps washed away by all the rain–anyhow it is dwindling away and now I am anticipating, with mixed emotions,  my last week with my Rose next week–eager for the time with her but so very sad that the substantial time is almost gone–

Looking back on what we have done, I feel it is so minimal–not many trips to the park or swimming or library-been shopping a few times, which she loves-always finding at least one person in the store to bond with-sharing her warm and wonderful smile.   It seems she is enjoying more and more to help with gardening, picking flowers and literally baptizing them in the bird bath.  Her major revelation that she shared with me is that rose petals are shaped like hearts– I know I never saw that before–and how appropriate for her, my Rose, to discover.  Her love of animals has spread to include “squirms” (worms)–one of her major summer vocabulary words–and she is endlessly fascinated by ants, spiders, and all things crawly.

Her love of books has been strong as ever and combining it with her love of animals, she was elated to see a display of Clifford book stuffed toys at a department store–she had to give one of each breed a hug and willingly relinquished them–happy to be allowed to just bring one home.  (Cleo, the purple poodle–the only girl dog in one of her favorite colors–I couldn’t leave her behind!)  She has continued bonding with our real cats, even allowing Snickers–her favorite–to care for one of her stuffed ones when she had to leave us–

And the leaving–a topic in itself–Never, ever, ever does it get one morsel easier to say farewell to her–Always, always there are tears and now she can verbalize “it’s hard to say good-bye”–at least she isn’t the one crying–

Verbalizing continually–On a particularly rough day, which are blessedly rare, we were discussing who in the house is boss and she stated unequivocally that she is Princess Boss.  I had to quickly come back with Queen Boss–but I think somebody is quite well aware of princess power and more than eager to utilize it–Of course when she is the cutest child my son and I have ever seen we have to constantly be on guard for her continual attempts to wind us around her charming little finger–

Oh my dearest Rose, you are maturing so quickly and on the verge of being a preschooler in a few short weeks–please, please let some of the summer’s happy moments together be written on your heart to carry with you and let nothing take them away–

The one who makes life be real–
October 24, 2010

To steal a line from my son, “It’s not morning til she says “Good morning”–I guess that’s one reason it is so hard to say good bye to my Rose when it is time for her to leave–She is the one who makes life be real, who makes it clear what priorities should be, who fills the day with her laughter & her love–

She is always so ready to share, she even makes “tea” for our kitty cats & brings them their toys to play with.    Her first stop in the house when she arrives for a visit is always her book bin, with the eager squeal of  “Read it-please!”  She wants to help “clean up”:  her toys, the crumbs on her high chair tray, the leaves outside (even with a rake twice her size).  So eager to be where the action is at that now even nap time & bed time are becoming harder for her to handle because she just doesn’t want to miss anything going on.  It is such a total enthusiasm for life–as a church friend said a few weeks back–perhaps it is because it is all still so very new to her.   And her zest spills over to those of us who are privileged to watch her & listen to her laugh & sing–

If only we didn’t have to say good-bye–

Second-string Grandma
October 10, 2010

Well, I guess the way it appears to be is that the grandmama concept was just a fantasy–For all the love, effort, tears, time, and legal fees invested I end up being the second-string grandma.   I have never been a very good or gracious loser (even with lots of practice because I have lost a lot of people and possessions) and, for my Rose’s behalf, I am trying really hard to at least be gracious.  I hope it at least appears that way to the other side because it sure is requiring every bit of fortitude I possess.   The loss of the hope of being grandmama is hard enough but to be second-string grandma is even harder…

I try to “relish” the moments that I do possess (thanks to a sister-grandma at church this am for that lovely word) but sometimes when I feel so inadequate at being able to have those moments–and so afraid of losing them– it is more than difficult  to do.   I look at her beautiful little self and want to be able to hold her whenever I want and I can’t–it is all a proscribed legal document.   And then I think about the fact  that part of what makes it that way is the choice of my daughter–who I love and feel at times I have lost–that she is the one who has relegated me to this position and she doesn’t even want to be mama–it just all feels so irreconcilably wrong that all I have left to do is cry.

But then my Rose looks at me with those gorgeous blue eyes that I know came from my daddy and I feel the love that she does feel for me and I know that the tears have to be saved for a different time–when she’s not here–and what I must reflect back to her is the incredible love I feel for her–

Princess has left the building
September 12, 2010

After an all too brief weekend, the silence has descended again as the princess has departed.   This time, due to a rearranged schedule and me getting ill, it was three weeks apart from her–amazing how much changes so rapidly at her age!  At first sight, she seemed like a totally different child–taller and more mature looking–but of course as soon as I held her in my arms, I knew I had my Rosebud back.

More new words and phrases in her vocabulary-“I do it myself” and “mine” popped up more frequently and, for the first time, today I heard “why?”  I am sure that will  be followed by a million more–the girl most definitely has an inquiring mind–as she has already said “what that?”” countless times in the past months–sometimes leaving me stymied as I try to discern exactly which “that” she is referring to–

But the most precious moments, well actually  the second most precious –after how she cuddles into my arms and melts into me with her hugs–was her decorating her toy riding car this afternoon with flowers.  We picked some pink flowers that coordinated with her outfit-she smelled them and declared them “yummy” and then put them on the steering wheel of the car.  Definitely an appearance of her grandma’s flower loving genes–no matter what there is a part of me that she carries inside her–

Even if I feel like my soul and my light are lost in some huge abyss when she is not with me, at least a little piece of my soul is with her and flickers of my light can shine thru her–so she can keep hope burning to reflect back to me when we are together again…

Our week, until now…
July 23, 2010

So this is a week with my Rose and it seems like it just floats on by with accelerating speed as the weekend draws near.

This morning we put together a toy storage chest with bins on racks and she even helped turn the screwdriver!  Perhaps she has inherited some wood-working skill from her daddy (or mine).  Wouldn’t have dreamed of attempting a project like this with pretty much any other toddler but she was helpful, bringing numerous cups of “tea” from her tea set  and sharing her bucket “hat” with me.  Then of course as we tried to put away toys in it, some other toys were unearthed after being ignored awhile so they had to come back out again.

We also created a boat this week from a neon pink cardboard storage box that had been waiting to be used, sitting in the depths of my closet for years–never thought it would be for this type of project!  And used up a zillion old stickers to make it pretty.  Of  course then two minutes later the stickers get peeled off again but then I just have to find more.

A happy event for yesterday was having a friend with a three week old baby come to visit–so unbelievable that my Rose was that small–  The new little girl  is like a tiny bud, as Rose once was, but  in comparison I see how way too amazingly fast Rose is starting to blossom and become lovelier and smarter every day.   Today when getting dressed she did a butterfly dance cuz she was so excited to wear butterflies on her shirt and shorts..butterfly is one of the words she has learned from uncle.  She also already seems to know the letter A when she sees it and is starting to learn colors.  (As a person working with special ed preschoolers I notice these things with awe and wonder–neurotypical has not been my world view).

I suppose nap time is about over so I guess I get to return to Rose world-while she sleeps I sojourn a bit in my own  territory but it is just a quick trip to attend to things that need to be done without her and then it is back to her realm…which is really a very happy place most of the time since she is so blessedly and miraculously a happy child!

The Quiet
July 13, 2010

I hear it’s deafening roar in my ears…She is not here and the sound of the silence without her is louder than what her baby cries used to be…In vain, I listen for her morning chirping little voice announcing “Get uppy please”..her requests for “stwaberries” …her emphatic proclamation “I will get down” and of course, the sweetest word….”Grandma”. But it is only the silence that surrounds me like a too heavy blanket and it suffocates instead of comforts as blankets are meant to do.  As a person who has always enjoyed the quiet (interspersed  with  music  by Springsteen, Handel, Gnarls Barkley and others)  it amazes me how this quiet just haunts, menacingly taunting me over and over with the phrase “she is not here”.   And I miss her…more than words could ever say…

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