Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Gift to Me on Her Birthday

I got to spend today with my grandma and it was such a gift.

I got to lay my baby down for a nap in her cozy guest room.  As I settled Caroline, I assured her that grandma's house is a good place to take a rest - it's a house made of love.

Of all the places of my childhood, next to my own home, my grandma Folsom's home stands out as an incomparable haven, an embodiment of all the good feelings of childhood.
I needed a good whiff of childhood innocence and ease today.  And I got it.

We had eggs and toast first thing.  Then we opened her birthday gifts together.  Then we sat on the couch for two hours at least and talked.  She told me about her cruise to Alaska and filled me in on my cousins' whereabouts and goings on.  She showed me the little card from Henry she'd come across when she was cleaning out her desk.  And I just loved that she'd saved that precious card - his chubby handwriting and rude pictures brought back a tiny bit of his kindergarten essence and I savored it.  She opened up about how it had been a hard summer for her and how aging gracefully isn't as easy as she thought it would be.  My heart squeezed for her frustrations and pain and I just loved her all the more.

And I told her about all the cute things Caroline is doing these days, and how she and Lily are frienemies and how the kids are loving school.  (And I'm just realizing now that I forgot to show her the online gallery of our recent family pictures, so we're going to have to spend another morning together soon :)

And then I opened up about how it had been a hard summer for me, too.  And we talked about how life is hard.  And we cried together.  And she made me feel understood and loved and like she'd trade me places and take my burdens in a minute if she could.

And I just kept thinking to myself the whole time, "I am so lucky for this.  I am so lucky to have her, to be here, to feel this kind of love."

And then I told her I was feeling really tired and she said, "why don't you lay down in the back bedroom and take a nap dear."  But just as I was settling in for a rest, Caroline woke up.  So I got her out of bed and when I came into the kitchen, my grandma was making us both "toasted cheese sandweeches" and little salads.  We ate together and laughed and beamed at Caroline's darling smirks and antics.  It is such a treat to be with someone whose delight in your children approaches your own.

And then it was time to pick the kids up from school so we hugged each other really close, trying to impart whatever bit of encouragement and strength we could in a goodbye squeeze.  And I apologized that I hadn't brought a gift and told her I intended to stop for flowers, but just wanted to get there and be with her that I didn't want to waste the time on a detour.  Selfish, I know.  But she assured me that she didn't want me to buy her gifts and that our time together was more precious than a gift.

I love my grandma to the tips of my toes.  I've been trying to focus on gratitude in my prayers -- and tonight there was a huge segment devoted to telling god just how thankful i am for her and everything that she has brought to my life.


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