A number of people have asked me why I haven’t written about the love of my life, my grandson, Matthew. That is a good question. He is undeniably the best thing that has ever happened to me. I mean he’s #1 on the “what I give thanks for every day” list. My girls feel the same way, so it’s not like they were demoted. It’s more like he was born and shot right to the top. Whoosh! There he was.
But here’s the thing. I don’t want to be that grandma. You know exactly which one I mean…..the one who thinks she invented life with a grandchild, that no one could possibly experience anything quite the way she has, that her grandchild is exceptional, and everything he does and says is adorable. So I’ve been hesitant to write about him. I mean of course, all that is true, but that’s been my dilemma. I’m trying to be polite.
Seriously, though? Even the kid’s feet are adorable! I am not kidding you. He has the cutest feet I have ever seen. EVER. Well, now that I’ve said that, I don’t think I’ve ever really seen cute feet. I don’t even like feet that much. But this kid has the cutest feet! See what I mean? Who wants to read about a grandma who loves her grandkid’s stinky feet?
And when he snuggles up in my arms….. Oh! It must be what heaven feels like. There is nothing…….nothing…….greater in this world. You know the saying, “my cup runneth over”? I didn’t understand that until I had my girls, and this enormous rush of love would come over me that I had never experienced before. Well, with a grandchild, it’s like a tidal wave. It’s like being a mommy times a million.
But that’s nothing other grandmas haven’t experienced too. I mean who doesn’t love holding their grandkids? Ok, so this one time, when he was maybe nine months old, he fell asleep in my lap while we were rocking. I could have put him down, but yeah, right. I sat and rocked for about an hour while he slept in my arms. It was one of those “nothing can top this” moments. And then he woke up, and he looked around like he didn’t know where he was……and then he looked up and saw me and he smiled at me (cue harps and singing birds). He smiled at me. And I realized I was wrong earlier because THIS was the “nothing can top this” moment. It’s like it’s already fantastic, and then it gets even better.
The tough thing is sometimes his parents get in the way. They think they have to do things like raise him to be a good human being, so they have these rules, which also get in our way, but what are you going to do? Here’s one. They think he should have a decent bedtime, and when he was really little, they would let him cry for about five minutes to see if he could fall asleep on his own before they went to get him. So one night I was in the guest room and I woke up to hear him crying, and I thought well, I’ll go rescue him, and let everyone sleep, so I went tiptoeing across the hall, when I saw this shadow standing there, and as I jumped about a foot in the air, the voice said, “Helloo, Motherr.” Dammit! How in the world did she get there so fast! Well, her story was that she had just put him down, and it had only been two minutes, so I had to cool my jets out in the hall, which of course, I did, because far be it for me to undermine his parents. I am telling you, it was the longest three minutes of my life!
But we manage to work around the mom and the dad most of the time. It’s usually pretty easy because as soon as I mention I’m coming for a visit, they say, “Ooh, great, do you mind if we go out??” I mean, really, could you just throw me a bone and pretend you’re happy to see me? The truth is, though, sometimes we’re so busy playing that we forget they’re even in the house. So I guess we don’t really need them (and their rules).
He calls me Gaya (rhymes with hiya). I’m not sure how this came about. I’m pretty sure he was trying to say Grandma, but I love Gaya, so Gaya it is. His other grandma is Gammie, so we each have our own names that we love. Oh, and she totally agrees that he is the greatest thing ever to come into the world, so I’m not lying.
But again, I know there’s nothing really unique to what we have experienced. So I still have trouble deciding what I can write about him.
Ok, this is kind of funny though. I have always loved trains. I’m not sure why. I just have. I think maybe it’s from growing up in Peoria, and I didn’t really get to see many trains. They were mostly on the outskirts of town I guess. So seeing them and counting the cars was always a cool thing, usually something we did on vacations. Once a few years ago, before Little Man was born, when we were riding the Metra into the city, Leah apologized for the boring ride, and I told her I wasn’t bored at all because I love trains! So my children cooked up this idea for my old age. They would purchase a weekend pass and put me on the train with a note pinned to my coat that said, “Please drop off in Elgin Sunday night.” Aren’t they just so funny?
Anyway, so this adorable grandson comes along, and guess what he loves more than anything?? TRAINS! What are the odds?? We both love trains! And I have to tell you, there is a world full of trains that I never knew existed. Some of the malls have trains now that you can ride (we have the mega-pass). There’s a train museum in Bartlett, Illinois that he and I visited for hours one day. I mean this museum is the size of most living rooms, and between watching the trains go by, doing train puzzles while we waited for the next train, and playing with toy trains, we were kept busy for hours. And then, when we finally pulled ourselves away from that, we walked about a block to the…..I’m not kidding…..Train Restaurant! They deliver your food in train cars! How cool is that?? That was the greatest day!
But getting back to the challenge at hand, I still don’t know how to approach writing about my grandson. I'll keep working on it though.