Monday, September 19, 2011

I Left my Heart in San Francisco

My beautiful grand daughter was born in the middle of August in San Francisco.  I have lived vicariously, seeing many pictures of her and knowing her other grandma was out there just enjoying the heck out of her first grand child.  Pictures are wonderful, but they just don't aren't the same as seeing that face and feeling those tiny hands in person.  But I knew my time was coming so I treid to be patient amid the steely waiting that has become my life. 

The time actually flew by as I rushed to finish the baby quilt conceived so many months ago and a calming influence amid the rushing I seem compelled to do, that takes me no where but in circles.  To hand quilt anything means to sit and be quiet while you put hands to the rhythmic in and out motion of the needle.  It was a pleasure I had put off too long and one I hope I will find use for again very soon.  I have reconnected with many past pleasures this year, baking, quilting, and my garden, in a way that was not rushed or futuristic but something that allowed me space to slow down and look at each moment as caught in time and enough of itself.  

The flight out was fun as I met several women going to a Susan B Komen event in San Francisco from my area who ended up flying all the way to my destination with me.  I met up with Annie in Minneapolis and with some juggling we managed seats together, along with a young mother and her three month old baby.  The baby was a love and the mother, relaxed and interesting.   The flight flew by and upon arrival in San Francisco, daughter in law, Jen and Vittoria met us at the airport.  The first thing Jen told me after hugs and kisses was to pick up my grand daughter and with silly tears in my eyes, I accomodated her.  You can fill your heart with love in just seconds, and once again I was introduced to the mysterious wonders that being a grandma brings forth in a huge eruption within my soul.  It kind of amazed me both times, the length and breadth of my feelings upon first gazing at my new grandchildren.

The visit was a huge success.  Vittoria was a peach.  She is as alert most times as the pictures indicated, a very good baby who seems to know she is loved and wanted.  She puts up with her goof ball daddy, calling her little arms, "chicken wings" as he dresses her, and gives him a startled look as he sits her in the small tub to bathe her and then brings her eyebrows together, just as her father does, to let him know she is studying on the whole situation.  I think she is already plotting ways to get back at dear old dad for all of this.  I fed her, dressed her, changed her, (her Aunt Annie's first changing of a diaper), helped bathe her, but mostly just held her and watched her.  I couldn't get enough of her and I guess, knew my time with her was short and the next time I saw her she would look so different.  I know now how fast babies change in those first months and I didn't want to miss a second of Vee. 

But we managed to take in the sights of San Francisco.  We walked miles up hill then down hill, as I discovered there really is no level spot in the "City by the Bay".   We did Fisherman's Wharf, the Farmer's Market, Ghirardelli's,saw Lombardy Street, Chinatown, and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge.  We had sunny, breezy weather, and only one afternoon of the misty, damp cold I had expected.  I learned the weather changes drastically from one spot in San Francisco to the next, and was grateful for the sunny weather I had while there.  We took Vittoria in her stroller and took in the sights, (she slept pretty much the whole time), and she had her first changing of the diaper in a public place, (a restaurant we stopped in at for a quick drink).   I ate sourdough bread, great cheeses, and an excellent fish taco, (my first).   We stuffed ourselves on Ghirardelli chocolates and the only sight I missed was the tour of Alcatraz.  But maybe for a next trip....

Annie and I caught a cab as our planes left very early on a Monday morning.  I had said goodbye to my new Baby Girl the night before, but my heart still broke off a piece when I walked by the door of my slumbering grand daughter so very early that Monday morning.  I left the nursery room, Annie and I had shared, with its crib, (Vittoria slept in it for the first time after we left),  decorated in shades of pinks and browns, the delightful chandelier and whimsical pictures and shadow boxes adorning the walls.  A wonderful first room for a little girl.  I left tiptoeing out and know that pieces of my heart were scattered across the floor.  I'm a Grandma now, suddenly gone to mush when I look at my grandchildren.  I guess all my friends were right, you fall into the "rabbit hole" and nothing is the same Alice, and now I know.

I am home now, where I know I belong, and missing seeing her every day becomes a little less every hour.  I still marvel at her alertness and her serious nature and the unexpected smile I induced, which wasn't gas.  I now look at her cousin, Luca, who smiles joyously all the time and coos and talks to us, and know that one is not complete without the other.  I hope I can enjoy each new step that my grand children achieve, even though it may have to be long distance with the one.  Its not a perfect world, but I have long since realized that I don't crave perfection, and that I can learn to cherish each moment I am here.  Thank you for the gift of grandchildren, and the lessons they teach....

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