It’s been too long, I know – most of you have understandably moved on to more reliable (and probably far better) musings. What can I say that you haven’t read before? Transitions are not seamless for me – that’s an understatement. Cognitively I recognize that every beginning requires a transition to something else, movement is far preferable to stasis, new adventures are uplifting – yada yada yada…Internally, I ache for breath, tiptoe around my life until I get my bearings and slip through the day as unobtrusively as possible. For all of the bravado, I stand before you – a wimp.
I have found it impossible to write, for I find the current climate so negative, toxic, skewed to the vitriolic that I can’t find my voice in this cacophony. I don’t want to contribute to the noise; if anything I would like to turn the volume way down. Waaaaaaaay down. How about if we whisper for a while? We might listen to each other more attentively.
Which brings me to my quiet, sacred moment of grace. I have the gift of watching one of my granddaughters once a week. I don’t write about the babies often – suffice it to say, I am every besotted grandmother who finds her grandchildren magical, perfect, amazing; every mom who marvels at her sons as adoring, devoted, gentle dads who are awed by their own children. It’s hard to write this stuff without hyperbole
Bu that’s just the segue – sorry if I went on too long.
Sophie will soon be eleven months. We get a kick out of each other, we really do. We make each other laugh, hold each other tight, she places her head in the crook of my neck and I place my nose to the crook of hers and I tickle her. She’s starting to walk and toddles with determination – stout of heart, if not necessarily equally strong of leg. Up and down the stairs, slapping each step with little hands that grab and clap and point and propel her up, up, up. When she laughs at the Sirs, her nose wrinkles. Between cruising the house and the neighborhood, reading (of sorts), engaging the dogs, and her ‘learning’ toys – we’re pretty busy. And when it’s time to nap, there’s no negotiation – she can fall asleep in her high chair.
She wakes a little disoriented and as I lift her up, she places her head on my shoulder. Within a moment she has found her spot, falling back to sleep and I lie down on the couch. I place one hand on her head, the other rises and falls with her breath. I try to count her eyelashes, trace the little pucker of her mouth as it drops open. I feel the pads of her fingers, softer than cotton. And in her breath, I find the breaths that I find so elusive these days. In this moment, we breathe together. Perhaps she can feel my heart, as I let mine adapt to the rhythm of hers. There is a reverence to this kind of quiet. This is what we’re here for. And if we’re fortunate souls, we dial it down so that we can feel it.
She wakes and we look at each other – my eyes wide and grateful, hers dreamy and a little unfocused. And then she sees it’s me and smiles, rubbing her face against my shirt and receiving kisses from the Sirs who are ready for her to chase them once again. Our little respite is done, the awe lingers.
Soon, Sophie will start day care, for it will be time for her to hang out with her peeps and engage with the world. We will still have our time, our moments. These little girls and the generosity of their parents have given me my breath, in these times when it can be so hard to breathe. And they offer the greatest grace of all – to love, to love, to love.