Friday, January 13, 2012

Like A Boat Out on the Ocean I'm Rocking You To Sleep

Really? Finally! I’m going to be a Grandma. My first-born is having her first-born. Mark and I have watched with a bit of envy friends who have grandbabies. Mark does love to hold babies. For ages, long after our babies were no longer babies, he would come home from work and tell me “I held a baby today”. Maybe a co-worker brought in a newborn or a customer needed a hand to hold that papoose while they paid their bill. I always found it amusing since, and I don’t think he’d argue this point, he was never REALLY ready for parenthood.

We got married very young - at least I was very young. I wasn’t yet 18, he was 20. We were even required to go, along with my mom, to meet with a counselor at Juvenile Probation to be sure we were aware of what we were getting into. Of course at the time we were SURE we knew. After more than 37 years, I can tell you we didn’t have a clue! It should be noted that we were NOT pregnant at the time - just wonderfully, blissfully head-over-heals in love (and perhaps lust). In fact, it was more than five years before Monica blessed our lives with her arrival and I still remember the deer-in-the-headlights look Mark had on his face when I told him about his impending fatherhood. Even after five years, it was a shock.

Out of fairness, he was not raised with younger siblings nor did he babysit as I had. He did a fine job but I believe he was often overwhelmed, and perhaps still is, though dealing with adult daughters takes a little different skillset and he is probably a little more equipped to deal with grown up issues. But babies....they smell nice, except when they don’t. They love you unconditionally, kinda like a puppy. And best of all, we get a chance at do-overs but DON'T have to be the disciplinarians. I suspect I wasn’t the most patient Mom even though I would have liked to have been. But we did read to our kids. And we made them nap (for their sake and our sanity). And we used a play-pen so they could play and we could get something done.....sometimes the playpen would be in the yard while I gardened. Sometimes Mark’s daddy time involved a baby in a play pen at the wrecking yard while he worked on his race car. Some people see play-pens as baby cages but, when I see parents trying to wrangle a kid, I see a play pen as a little rubber room to keep us all sane. We didn't beat our girls but, in fact, were often asked how often we beat them to make them so good. In hindsight, we did okay and you'll never find those welts!

And now we have a grandbaby on the way and have to, once again, think of baby-proofing. And replacing carpet that just won’t NOT smell. And think about my bowls of seashells. And plants on low tables. And stairs...yikes, I forgot about the stairs! And, what do we want to be called? Granny? No! Nana? Nona? Gramma? I so look forward to sharing tidepools and gardens and chickens with this baby. And sharing smooshy cute, chubby little baby cheeks and (personal fave) baby feet to EVERYONE who follows my Twitter feed and Facebook. I can't wait to do the spoiling and have secrets just between us. I can’t wait until July (or now, June) when Monica and Gabe's little Peanut arrives and I am "Grandma". Let the spoiling begin, huh Papa?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

In A New York Minute, Everything Can Change

Oh how I wish I left work just a moment earlier. Instead of that one...last...thing.... Even so, as I headed home from campus, I could see the glow in the western sky. I had been warned all day by the flashing red of my Weather Channel desktop, alerting me to the heavy surf (and the "recommend you stay away from the beach" admonishments...HA!).
The spit is so FAR. It's so close I can SEE it but so far away when you want to BE there. I have to drive north to drive south again. Not sure I'll make it but I'll try. Traffic is in my favor as I go around the golf course and through town. Turning on to 255, towards the Samoa peninsula, I can see I'm not alone. I'm not the only one heading that direction, taunted by the warm glow in the winter sky. Not the only one for whom those "High Surf Advisories" is an invitation. Driving over the bridges, I sneak quick glances to see the enormous orange ball. Dropping. Too fast! Slow DOWN! Wait for me PLEASE!
As I sit at the stop sign waiting for the seemingly endless line of (four) cars to pass, I stow my purse and pull the straps on my shoes. No time to make it to the far end, to the harbor mouth where the final drop would surely be most spectacular. I pull into the parking lot at Samoa Beach, finding a spot easily, tear off my shoes and grab my camera. The howling wind convinces me to grab the raincoat I had taken this morning. I run. Through the cold sand, over the rise, JUST in time. The ball has dropped halfway into the water. The heavy surf roars but I'm sure there must be a loud sizzle as the cold water quenches the sun. I can't draw my eyes away from the orange sphere slowly.....slipping....
..under. The few of us at the beach watch the sky change from orange to dark, muddy blue. No doubt others were farther up the beach - this is a show not to be missed. We wrap our coats around our bodies, breathe deep. And head home. Lord I love this place!