I'm trying to get this grandma thing down pat. Its not at all what I expected. Everyone told me that it would be such and thus, but I knew so much better and that it would be unique to me. It is unique but it is also just as everyone said it would be. I am totally smitten by him, and his coming has changed the way I look at things.
Just as Luca will settle in to a routine and give his exhausted parents sleep, and confidence that their lives will now become a new whole, but one that will soon seem as natural as breathing. There will come a time shortly when they won't remember what life was like before him. That's another thing grandma's have over parents. I can remember life before Luca. I can remember the quiet happiness at learning I was to become a grandma, the anticipation, and the knowledge that the months sped by until his birth, (and I say that knowing that when I was actually pregnant it seemed to take forever). But I also remember the little things about his father. The first of my babies, the one all the mistakes were made on, and the one that taught me how quickly a baby can fill your life and consume it. I had forgotten what my life was like before him, but Luca made me remember.
I wished my cousin, a happy birthday today, and kidded her that she always reached my age, 6 months sooner and so did the test drive. My best friend, on who's birthday, Luca was born also hit milestones 6 months ahead of me. Now, when we remember each other's birthdays we take a few moments to remember what we were once. My cousin would come out from the big city of Midland to stay every summer for a week. She loved coming to the farm, and bringing in the cows at night for milking and playing in the haymow until we were covered in itchy straw, that somehow even got into our underwear. My dad would make homemade ice cream and we would sit on a warm summer's night and eat a creamy bowl full, topped with fresh strawberries as I was just never a plain vanilla type person. We would giggle and talk long into the night, and be admonished several times by my mom to "quiet down and go to sleep". Of course, we giggled all the more. My cousin's house in town, featured an in ground pool, such a novelty back then, and something wondrous and slightly scary to me, the country mouse cousin. Visits there were always fun and full of splashing and swimming, and I was always exhausted at day's end and wanted to go home to the comfort of my haymows and radio tuned to the Tiger games.
My best friend(s), her sister was in that equation, as we were pretty much inseparable if with one, I was with the other. Marlene was the elder by 6 months but a grade ahead of me in school. Betty was 8 months younger, but shared my grade progression with me. We lived on our bikes in the summer, and played "Barbies" with homemade houses built at both of our real houses, outside in the summer, inside in the winter. Pickup baseball games and touch football in the fall. Ice skating and sledding in our winters, and hot chocolate and thawing out after hours outside. Hayrides and Crystal Lake on a summer Sunday. We really had it all, and if our parents worried, we didn't know it. We learned about politics, the birds and the bees, and the latest childhood gossip by just sitting in our favorite places and talking. We had worldly views gleaned from our parent's conversations, but spun with our kid's philosophy. If only the world could be ruled by the voices of children, we would be so much better off. And we grew up. High school was the defining line for so many of my close relationships. Though we remained good friends and shared high school, we drifted to other friendships and boys. My cousin and I drifted even further attending different schools and having less and less in common as our experiences toward growing up defined us. We rushed headlong toward that great final diploma called "adulthood". Years later we wondered why we had been in such a hurry to grow up.
So, it is with Luca that I watch and look at his every movement. I have gained patience, and some insight into just how fast and far he will go in such a short time. Everything he does delights me, and I can honestly say, that everything my children did, did not delight me.
Luca has allowed me to set new goals and feel they might be accomplished. He has made me dream of good things again, and made me see that my life is coming full circle. A pretty big accomplishment for a two week old baby.
Happy Birthday Cuz, and thanks for all the memories...