Greetings from Waco, TX.
I am a 42 year old grandmother that has truly underestimated all of you.
I write you today to apologize, repent, and mostly to lament on behalf of your mothers and fathers who really cannot and do not rest.
Your parents are AMAZING-SUPER-BEINGS.
As it turns out, I myself had several babies - seven to be exact. Now, for the sake of clarity it should be known that one of the seven came to me at 14 months of age and one at 9 months of age. That means that I technically only had five babies from the very beginning.
Suffice it to say, I felt like I understood babies and had a very sharp memory of what caring for a baby entailed.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I forgot everything about you little people. My memory is short. Perhaps God intended it to be so, or how would grandparents ever say yes to babysitting?
I guess maybe when I was 18 and 22 and even in my early 30s I had what it took to deal with all the ridiculous things you expect. The list includes but is not limited to, picking up the toy you toss down seven million times, staring at you, not looking away at anything but you, making faces that are funny for you, talking in a high annoying voice for you, bouncing you, keeping you in CONSTANT motion while in stores procuring expensive items for you, and of course controlling the temperature of your surroundings as well as the dryness of your butt, etc. etc., ad infinitum.
Babies, I am here, at 42 years of age telling you that you are excellent at your craft and I am no match for you.
I write especially to one, Graham Porter Gonzales today. You seemed sweet, perfect, easy, and fun from the photos your mother shared of you on social media. You are in fact fun, and you are sweet very often. Let it be noted, you are not easy and not being easy means you are not perfect in that particular way. Those are the lies of social media.
Your Mother gained super-star status in my eyes this week. Waking up three times a night, Guantanamo Bay sleep-deprivation-torture-style, is incredibly taxing. Your Mother has done this for eight months without complaint. I salute her.
I loved kissing you and holding you and staring at you a lot. I loved snuggling and smelling your baby head. I loved that people were surprised I was your Grandma but then upon further reflection they said, "Oh, yeah, you do look very fatigued, I see the creases in your eyes now that you say it."
I loved all of that so much ... But I also love sleeping more than two or three hours in a stretch - and that, Baby Graham, is why today I will return you to your Mother and Father. (And the angels sing.)
When I reflected on my 42 year old fatigue this week I spent a lot of time contemplating Sarah and the baby she had in her 90's.
Sarah Laughs at the Promise…12Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" 13And the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?' 14"Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."…
Nothing is too difficult for the Lord, but babies in old age are too difficult for me. I am guessing Sarah was mentally ill because laughing at having a baby after about 43 is not a sane response. Sarah also placed an ad and hired a 21 year old nanny that handled everything for her.
(For all you older Moms of babies, don't be offended - just know I bow at the feet of your strength and moxie. Is this print too small for you to read? Yeah. I thought so.)
Here is a PARTIAL list of things I had forgotten (and relearned this past week) in the several years that have passed since my last baby grew up and into a seven year old girl.
1. Babies don't respond well to "give me two minutes" or "wait".
2. Sleeping several hours in a row is a gift. The world is SO MUCH lovelier
3. The speed at which baby shit travels from a diaper onto your favorite white shorts is lightning fast. Logic-and-physics-defying-poop, is a baby specialty.
4. Getting teeth is no joke. Teeth don't mess around.
5. Young Moms (must) develop bladders of steel when they continually meet the needs of their baby and never freaking urinate. Mom bladders don't play. (For fun, sometime today hold 25 pounds of moving human in your arms and try to use a public toilet while holding the child. Trust me, peeing down your leg is a better option.)
6. Disposable diapers ruin the earth and cloth diaper ruin a grandmothers life. (Who do you love more, the earth or your grandma?)
7. Car seats make running errands the most ridiculously annoying task ever. Has anyone ever tried to successfully count how many flippin times you fix those straps in one day?
8. Mushed up crackers in chubby little baby hands is better than mushed up crackers in chubby baby hands that are pulling your hair.
9. Baby nostrils don't allow for easy removal of baby boogers. (Thus the photo above.)
* * * *
For friends raising kids abroad, the longer we've been doing this, the more I see what our kids gain and what they miss by being raised in Haiti. Having the boys in the USA and realizing that they are intimidated by basic things, like going to the counter and asking for a ticket to a movie, or dealing with spending their money and making choices in stores has me feeling a bit stressed out for them and the future.
- Third Culture Kid - Kay Bruner
- At A Life Overseas - Ten Ways Teachers Can Support TCKs
The boys and I went to go see the new Pixar movie, Inside Out. We truly loved it. I am one that tires easily of the silly, boring, over told story line wherein the princess needs the dang prince to save her. SO.OVER.DONE.
This movie had none of that and I loved it. I highly doubt Pixar needs any help marketing this movie, but I offer mine none the less. GO SEE IT. I found it especially helpful because we have one kid in our house that feels EVERYTHING and feels all of it big. We have another that really refuses to feel sadness and will push all the hard things down and away. (Kay is an internet friend that I got to have lunch with this week, so I'm sharing several posts of hers that I loved.)
Read more about the movie here:
- Nobody Knows What Sadness Is For - Kay Bruner
- Grown Up Emotions - Kay Bruner
- How Inside Out Director Went Inside the Mind of an 11 Year Old
The boys got to see and hear and have an educational lesson on a 3 million dollar pipe organ this week. Because they don't know how much a candybar or a shirt or a meal out should cost, they did not necessarily understand the 3 million price tag --- but they did understand that it was an amazing opportunity to hear a talented organist play for them.