When I was a baby, my dad was stationed on an aircraft carrier somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. My mom moved home, to my grandparent’s house for support. I was the first one, and I was spoiled rotten… or so they’ve told me since I was old enough to understand. My mom tells me that my grandpa Malone hated to hear my cry, so she would lay me down to sleep and when I stopped crying, she assumed I fell asleep. Instead, my grandfather would sneak into my room, scoop me up and take me downstairs to rock me. Maybe, I was a little spoiled! My uncle tells me that Grandpa would take me to the local IGA and tell everyone how wonderful I was. I don’t remember any of this, but I have always been pretty sure that my grandparents thought the world of me.
When Allie was born, we lived in South Carolina, with my parents. My sister and parents were completely smitten with her. We set up her bassinet in the family room and we all took turns watching her sleep. When I had been up all night with her crying, my grandmother was there to take the morning watch and let me get a couple hours of sleep before the day began. One night we came home to find the house empty. I was absolutely certain they must have run off to the emergency room. In the days before cell phones, we just waited by the phone for someone to call. A couple hours later, they walked in after a lovely dinner out with my 3-month-old. They loved her and cared for her as their own because she was. My parents have spoiled all of their grandchildren, but there is something special about having the babies live with them. My mom always thought she had partial custody… and she kinda did.
These days, it’s my first grandbaby living with us. His parents are amazing. I am truly impressed with the way they manage this little bundle of life. And we get to be the grandparents. I love the way his face lights up when we walk in the door. He knows where to go to get a snuggle or a snack. When he wants to rumble and tumble, he heads to his Papa who just adores him. Every morning, when it’s time for him to leave, he snuggles up with me for just a few minutes. Some days he is all warm and huggy, some days he’s ready to explore, most days he is happy to just have a quiet moment with his Grammy before he starts his day. On Sunday morning when he was freshly changed and newly awake he toddled over to his Papa to giggle and tumble around in his strong arms. Then he got down and headed for me. We snuggled under my blanket, played peek a boo and just sat quietly for a few minutes. After a couple minutes, he was down again. He headed right to his car seat as if to say… okay, I’m ready to go now.
When he was days old, I was the first one to give him a bath and I jumped at the chance every time I could. He loved the bath, laying back, relaxing in the warm water and just enjoying the process. The first time I tried to give him a bath in the bathtub, I thought I was wrestling an alligator. He twisted and turned, face in the water, I thought it would be the end of me and him. I moved him back to the sink until he was too big to fit. Now, he loves to splash and play in the tub. He is busy, interested and on the go. I am just in awe of how fast this baby has grown, the process unfolding right in front of me. It feels like watching one of those biology films that speeds up the process from germination to flowering, taking it from months to just a few seconds. He is growing right in front of my eyes, and I’m trying to catch every bit of it.
We hope to have a gaggle of grandbabies. But right now, there is this one. We know that life is moving so quickly and these moments, the every-day-ness of him living here won’t last. But while he is, we are enjoying every minute! I am certain, like my grandparents and my parents before me, there will be more than enough love to go around for the grandbabies that will someday arrive. In the meantime, we are learning how to be Papa and Grammy, and enjoying this one with all we have.