Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Regretfully Saying Goodbye to the Terrible Twos

This little cutie will turn three next month.  He has always been known as the "good son," a title that I fear he will have to forego for the next year.  I have never been sure why the twos got the bad rap.  I'm pretty sure it was by first time parents who just hadn't experienced threes yet, or they would know that the terrible twos are just a warm up to treacherous threes (which admittedly doesn't have the same ring to it).  Josiah, being a bit precocious, just got there a little early.

"Granma, come really fast!  Josiah did it!"  The lamp was reclining, it's broken light bulb glittering the carpet - it was a floor lamp after all.  For his part, Josiah looked pretty satisfied.

"I want Aidan's water."  And just to demonstrate it was not empty, Josiah turned the glass over.  Giggling the whole time.  I, on the other hand, did not exude laughter.

Blessed bedtime was just around the corner.  Holding the all-but-three-year-old hand while saying prayers, he began to cry.  "No, Granma, I want your other hand."  Arms crossed in front of me to accommodate the request, we continued.

When I turned out the light, Josiah started to scream.  I know for a fact that I cannot outlast his screaming, but it is a personal challenge to try.  "Josiah, why are you crying?"  The reply did not vary from the original.  With a shrug, I went downstairs to listen from a safe distance.  Yes, he beat me again.  Eventually, I went back upstairs and repeated my question.  Unable to answer for himself, Aidan did the talking, "he wants his blanket."  Turning the hall light back on, I soothed the crying child from the doorway, "Josiah, you are holding your blanket in your hands."  Something magical happened.  In one continuous motion, he looked down, closed his mouth, rolled over and closed his eyes.

This will be my seventh round of the threes - my own sons and three grandboys to date have navigated the year and lived to tell - as have I.  My advice:  hold your breath until they turn four, which does happen eventually.  Thirteen months from now, Josiah will turn four - and there will still be four months of solace before it's Elijah's turn...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

They Don't Call Me Granma for Nothing!

Last summer, Aidan and I had a birthday conversation.  His special day was coming up, which of course is a hot topic.  His natural curiosity lead him to inquire of my age as well.  What harm could it do to tell the truth.  55, I told him.  He reminds me of that conversation frequently, generously and correctly adding another year in November.  Sweet as his reminder is, there are other things that remind me of the half century that separates our births.  Put that way, I'm feeling older than ever!  Sigh.  Let's call it nostalgia.  For instance:
  • No grandchild of mine would have the slightest idea what to do with a car's crank window.
  • Their Granma will never figure out video controls.  I could use arthritis as an excuse, but that only makes me sound older and has nothing to do with the fact that A-Up-Up-Left-B-enter are not directions my fingers could have followed at any stage of joint functioning.
  • "Do it again!" is music to my ears when squealed with joy by grandboys and girles, alike.  My back, however, is not such a music lover.
  • Elijah at 18 months is a professional foot photographer - and he has very cute little piggies! But what if he had to wait a week or more for the pictures to be developed?  
  • Tyler would be clueless with a VCR tape.  Bryce, on the other hand, would probably figure out how to tie him up with it.
  • Court and Christine run their TV through their computer.  It does indeed take a four year old to turn it on for me.  However, he still needs me for the password!
  • And my personal favorite - Bella asked me what to do with that rectangular thing by the sink.  Until that moment, I hadn't noticed that bars of soap were part of a disappearing landscape.
Come to think of it, it's a rather short list, especially when compared to our common interests:

ice cream
children's books
The Lego Movie
squirt guns
echos in a stairwell
play doh
and even birthdays!

I'm feeling my age, alright, with just a slight shift of the decimal - 5.6.  Perfect!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Circling around to the Circle of Life

There are times when things rattle around in my head, making endless and annoying circles until they find an outlet.  One effective such exit is my fingers on a keyboard.  Sometimes what comes out is still circular, and maybe even annoying.  Let's see what happens today.

Sunday morning my bestie's aunt, Big Mary (or just Big), was taken by ambulance to the hospital, dehydrated and generally not feeling well.  She is 92 years young and we aren't done with her smile and sweet disposition.  And fortunately it appears she isn't done with us,either.  Get well quickly, Big!

At approximately the same time, 10 miles away, my youngest grandson was employing similar transportation to a similar local.  There are worse things than getting that news - like finding a blue tinged baby and tripping over your own stomach while restarting your own heart and hoping his is, too.  Thankfully, it is a happily ever after story.  Elijah is back to his little boy energetic self.

It's a time honored tradition that Granmas will cross over before Mamas and Daddys and definitely before grandboys and girlies.  When someday Elijah does breathes his last, I want to be a distant, though sweet, memory.  I want to be waiting for my grands on the other side with arms open wide and kisses and "I love yous" that I have been saving up for decades.

Time honored tradition, indeed, but not always life honored.  Life can be messy.  And Sunday reminded me again that wanting does not always intersect with having.  I can say "thank you, Lord" and "praise God" that a little boys uses his toddler legs to keep up with his older brothers and his special brand of sloppy kisses to shower his sisters.  But what if God's plans had been contrary to mine?  Would I still praise Him in the storm?  I want to say "Yes!"  But I'm not sure I even have enough faith to believe my own proclamation.

What I can do is say a sincere thank you to the Lord of the Universe who saw fit to send two sets of first responders and two hospitals to nurture the lives placed in their hands.  Beyond that, all I can do is take tomorrow on faith - faith that faith will be enough when paths inevitably diverge.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Eat Your Hearts Out, Buzz and Woody!

 This week is the 28th birthday of (drum roll) BIRTHDAY BEAR!!!!  And there is quite the celebration to be had!

We didn't know when he joined our family that he would have such staying ability.  Honestly, he was an impulse buy.  I was wandering through Jewel grocery store in the days leading up to Court's birthday when bear's fuzzy little nose and hat emblazoned "I'm 4!" caught my eye.  I could say I set him gently in the cart so as to give him a good home, but I'm sure that is giving me way too much credit.  He probably shared a plastic bag with the ketchup and frozen peas.  Court, though, fell in love the Birthday Bear immediately!  He was a constant companion and my shut-eye-savior.

Fast forward a couple of decades when this Mom was packing up a room for her baby who no longer resembled a baby in the least.  I just couldn't part with such a loyal companion.  No, he didn't return to the condiment and frozen veggies from which he sprang.  Instead, he found a box, surrounded by other mementos of an era:  a Cub Scout flag, a soccer trophy, a various decorations that once hung proudly in a little boy's bedroom.  And there Birthday Bear patiently waited.

As luck would have it, this Granma recently decided it was time to clean out the crawl space.  Wading through boxes and pictures and tokens of bygone eras, I came across our little friend.  His nose isn't plush anymore and his shirt isn't white.  His once blue pom-pom is fading to grey (I can relate - to the grey, not the blue).  I piece of me, roughly 37%, asked why hang on to this grocery store ghost of galas gone past.  63% of me couldn't bear to put the bear out to pasture.

Sometimes it's a good thing to be a sentimental sap.  I reunited bear and best friend.  The instant Court saw his faithful companion again, it was like turning back the clock to 4 again.  "It's Birthday Bear!  Look, Adian, this was Daddy's friend when I was your age!"

I haven't asked him, but I'm sure Birthday Bear would agree that it was worth the wait for another generation of bedtime snuggles and secrets.  He is a wizened little bear - 28 years and growing younger by the day, thanks to the love of another little boy who bears a striking resemblance to the original.

Happy Birthday, Bear!  And Happy Birthday, Court!

Dreams do come true, Woody!  Here's the proof!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Out of the Mouths of Babes - the Sequil

The day after Aidan uttered his words immortalized in last week's blog, Bryce came for a visit.  Having flourished through his first decade of life, Bryce is now a seasoned sojourner.  Ok, he may just be slightly salty, but it's a start!

We were viewing masks made of his father's and each of his uncles' faces, all done a couple of decades ago.  Bella asked who was who.  Bryce, noting his senior status, took on the challenge.  "This one is Dad," he said, pointing to the one in the middle.  Correct!  "And this one is Uncle Corey," he continued pointing to the one on the left.  Two for two!  "That means this one is Uncle Court."

"No," I teased, "that one is Grampa."  He took a second long look, just to be sure.

"No, Granma, Grampa isn't that hideous."  (Ouch - sorry Court!)  "If he was that hideous, you wouldn't have married him."  (Insert much giggling here from among the assembled.)

"So, Bryce, aren't you glad he wasn't hideous?  Cuz if we didn't get married, your Dad wouldn't be here and without your Dad, you wouldn't be here."  This caused a pause for reflection - followed by renewed giggling.

Thank you, Babe, for being the Grampa to my Granma.  And thanks for not being hideous.  Your oldest grandboy thanks you, too!