(A post in response to today’s WP prompt :What are the three most memorable moments in your life)
I feel like my seven year old son who when asked to draw a picture in his favourite colour stared at his box of sixty four crayons. He picked up each and every one. When the teacher finally asked where his picture was, he replied: But, they’re all my favourite!
First is when I finally got my driver’s licence later in life. It was about time to be Going Solo in the driver’s seat.
Second is when I returned to university later in life (hum, is this a theme developing here). It was an Accomplishment to attained my Bachelors degree.
Third is when …well, here’s that moment:
Rushing from the crowded subway car to the crammed full bus, I did not share my mother’s enthusiasm for this adventure. She had excitedly whispered- It’s a girl- into my sleeping ears. So, accompanying my ecstatic mother, we rushed off to meet her very first grandchild, the lengthy two hour transit trip seeming to me like four.
Finally, she held her, tightly, softly caressing the tiny fingers, speaking with awe and near reverence how she loved her. Holding her gingerly, I noticed only my niece’s scrunched crying red face, bruised eyelids, and elongated bald head. My mother gently chided my perceptions. Okay, she’s delicate, I thought, but, at sixteen, I was focused on my academic goals.
But, then, it was my time to call her:
It’s a boy
Five phone calls, yet she always had the same awe and amazement sparkling in her eyes when she held each newly born grandchild.
She loved and they loved her back. It was as simple as that. She savoured the pleasure of being with a grandson, feeling only enthusiasm and privilege.
Despite her active life of working, courses and painting classes, a phone call that started with, “Grandma, can I tell you this story?” commanded her immediate attention.
After taking one for a sleepover, she’d wake a grandson singing the silly “People on the bus’ song. After meticulously ironing all their clothing, including their underwear, they’d skip and hop to take train trips or to watch sail and tug boats or to gaze at mountains from a gondola, whatever was that grandson’s current passion. In summer, she traipsed with them to a beach to sunbathe and to assist in sand castle building, eating from tiny containers holding grapes, cheese, bread and just a dab of mayonnaise. Meals at her house consisted of slightly burn wieners with lots of relish,” ‘cause that’s how they tasted best”, a bowl of Froot Loops (never allowed at home) and the requisite morning cup of Grandma’s coffee. Theirs nine parts milk laced with sugar. When I picked up my sons, her old crinkled eyes were shining . They left behind their painted masterpieces on her walls, and shared memories of endless readings about Huckle and Lowly from a well-loved book.
I was rather amazed at her outpouring grandmother love.
While I certainly love my five sons, my hectic happy days crammed with their lessons, music and athletics is long past. Life is a series of interconnected chapters, and I savour my quieter days filled with reading and writing. The whole possible appeal of the ‘enthralled grandma’ chapter had yet to hold too much charm for me.
Then, I got that call.
It’s a girl!
As I gazed into my first grandchild’s eyes, softly caressing her tiny fingers, I yearned to sing silly songs, skip and hop, build sand castles, and endlessly read a well-loved story.
Holding her, tightly, with awe and near reverence, I see it so clearly.
Love and be loved. Life really is as simple as that.