My mom may have held a grudge. I don’t think she ever really got over the fact that I moved Allie away from the circle of her everyday life. We built the nursery together, waited for an extra month as my delivery date passed, and drove together to the hospital on the day she was born. Everyone else went to dinner, but mom stayed behind, not wanting to miss being there when the baby was born. She answered my questions, provided much needed (but not always wanted) advice, and was generally there to support me as I took my first steps as a mom. When we left, she was heartbroken.
Next week, Teddy and his parents are closing on their new home. Almost all of Teddy’s months (18 at this point) have been lived under our roof, but it is time for them to go. I won’t miss the hustle and rush of a young family living in our midst. The noise and clutter will be quickly dispatched in their absence. I have plans for my craft room (where Teddy sleeps now) and I can’t wait to reorganize my kitchen.
As ready as we are to welcome some peace and quiet into our little cottage, and re-inhabit our own lives. It is still hard to give up the everyday life we’ve grown accustomed to with this little guy. Some days just thinking about it makes me cry.
This morning, Steph and I woke him together. He flopped his blond head back and looked up at me through squinty eyes. He drew his blanket and stuffed bunny closer for comfort. He sleeps on his stomach with knees and hands drawn up under his belly. As I rubbed his back and Steph tickled his toes, he hid a smile and leaned back to stretch.
This is my favorite time of day. He’s not a snuggly baby, he is much too busy for such nonsense. Instead, he explores, climes, opens and closes, and finds all of the parts for sorting and organizing. But first thing in the morning when he is still half a sleep, he will lean into my neck, wrapping his little arms around me.
Afternoons are good too. Watching him explore the world around our home is fascinating. I could study him for hours. He loves to watch what is happening in the kitchen. As I cook, he is often underfoot, between the cabinet and my body demanding to be lifted. He hates to miss these things. I pull him up on the counter when I’m able, offering him bits of the evening meal. Other times, his dad comes to distract him to other interests.
After dinner but before bath time, he piles books onto my lap and slides under the blanket to read a story. We turn the pages and talk of lamas in pajamas, say goodnight to the moon, and find interesting pictures to discuss in a variety of other books. And then he’s down, off to play with his cars and tracks, or to find Papa for some evening wrestling.
He can turn anything into a phone. He often walks through the house saying “ello” babble, babble, babble, “bye.” He pulls me into his bedroom, demanding that I sit in the rocker while he plays on his new big boy bed, or rolls plastic cars down the winding track. He pretends to sleep, gathering stuffed toys, and a blanket while he breaths, “whishh”, “whooo” quietly and peaks at me through partially closed eyes.
Although it is time, I am not sure I am ready to give up my everyday life with Teddy. I bought a car seat a couple weeks ago. We did a practice run for ice cream after dinner and had a blast. I took him for an evening and we explored Papa’s ambulances and ate macaroni and cheese before we returned to put him to bed.
We always knew this was just a moment in our lives and we’ve all handled it well, very well. They need to take this next step and so do we. I will still miss the everyday delights of watching him grow. Grandparenting will look different from here on out.
Lucky for me, they are just moving down the road. When I moved Allie from my mom’s house, it was several states away, this time they are just in the next town. I keep reminding myself, I will still see him regularly. It’s just not the same as simply being there.