I love babies.
I loved my own immensely and as they grew I became even more of a baby lover since mine were toddlers, then teens, then…gone. No more babies of my own. Thank goodness for grandchildren…but even they are growing up fast.
This week I had the privilege of watching one of my dearest friends’ youngest grandson. You may recall that Jack arrived in July, pretty much on time, with his mom going into labor while having dinner at my house with her Mom (my friend) and her family. (See: http://ocactiveseniors.com/2012/07/13/birthing-babies/)
He is just one of the happiest, “smiliest” little ones I have ever seen.
I miss my own grandchildren terribly. I don’t think an hour goes by in a day that I don’t think of them since my house is filled with their photos as well as the pictures they’ve drawn for me, gifts they’ve made, etc. Six of the grandchildren – the youngest ones of my total of eight – are on the east coast. However, my two oldest live here, but “The First” whom I also wrote a blog about(http://ocactiveseniors.com/2011/06/24/the-first/) is now – gulp! – a senior in college in Chicago and his younger brother is 15…and, well, you know about teen-agers and their grandparents. Although this guy allows me to sometimes drive him places and this summer, for just a couple of days, my garage became a workshop for skateboard enhancements with a few of his buds, much to my delight. There is something to be said for living among some of the best skateboarding hills in Orange County, aka “The Dana Dips.” And filling the second fridge out in the garage with soda, lemonade and a few snacks.
So, Jack arrived, as pleasant as could be. At four months, he has a thin fuzz of gorgeous red hair (like his Mom, his aunt and his Pop!) and a huge smile. He acts like he knows me even though he hasn’t really seen me all that often. Mom left and he was down on the floor on this wonderful quilt I have that actually, any baby who has ever come to my home, has used. It’s fluffy and big and was made especially for me by an old friend 20-something years ago and is a treasure to me. When visiting little ones are too small to do anything it gives them a place to roll around and as they get bigger it allows them to have a pretty good area to crawl in, such is its size.
I was down there on the “magic blanket” (as it is sometimes known) with him and he was “talking” to me…making those wonderful little cooing sounds. I was dangling a toy close enough for him to grab and when he got it he was both thrilled and shocked, I think! After awhile I felt I needed to hold him (he was perfectly happy but he wasn’t going to be there with me that long and I had to get my gentle squeezes in!) so I scooped him up and we walked around my house and looked at the paintings and the photos and I told him about each of them. He listened politely. But then again, he’s a baby and what else can he do? After awhile he started rubbing his eyes, which I always take as a sure sign of sleep so I warmed up his bottle and snuggled with him, hoping he’d doze off so he could get at least a little nap in before Mom came back. Well, he didn’t. He burped a couple of times and sent a little “cheese” onto his bib, but he was never fussy. He was curious. His little head was almost spinning around looking at all the new, strange things. (Some of the things he saw are strange.)
We walked around a little more and I stood by the windows that have the ocean-view and just started swaying a little while cuddling him. His eyes got heavy. My eyes got heavy. One of us was going to sleep and it’d better not be me, since he was in my arms and the only thing we’d land on was the hardwood floor if I started to snooze.
I went over into one of the big over-stuffed chairs in my living room and we sat down. His little head bobbed up and down as he was fighting sleep and then he was down for the count, his head coming to rest on my shoulder. His little hand was tucked under my chin and his beautiful little face was only a few inches from mine. If ever there are angels on earth, they are sleeping babies. His little luscious lips puckered once in a while and sometimes he’d furrow his brow, but he could have been one of Reuben’s cherubs, he was that beautiful. I thought my heart would burst holding this precious little person. I realize I probably could have put him down somewhere safe (like the “magic blanket”) and gone off to do something “productive”…but I knew, much as I did when my own kids were small, whatever there was to be done could wait while I felt his little heart beating on me, reveled in that wonderful “perfume” of deliciousness that only babies have and felt the softness of his little hand pressing under one of my many chins.
We stayed like that for quite awhile, with me covering his ear at one point when the phone rang, lest it disturb this sleeping angel. Mom came back and stayed to chat while Jack snoozed on me. I was glad she didn’t want to take him since I was practically experiencing Nirvana holding this little guy. He eventually popped up, looked around, surprisingly only a little puzzled as to who I was and where he was, then he spied Mom and lit up the room with his delight at seeing her.
I repeat, I love babies. What a gift it was to be able to share that little time with one today.
I think I’ll stalk my east coast grandchildren on Facetime this week. I need a fix from them. Happily, the big guys will be here for Turkey Day.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for the many, many wonderful people - and their offspring – that have given me so many, many gloriously happy moments in life!