I carried my Sweetness, my new little bonus granddaughter, through the house yesterday, a milestone. It was her first visit to gran’s house, she will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. She certainly would have been here sooner but beasts are huge and newborns are fragile, mamas are protective. I knew the day of our first visit was approaching, it almost happened earlier in the week but last minute plans changed. We see them in their space almost daily, quick visits to drop off or pick up whatever Plum needs, whatever we have extra of, all excuses to see our Sweetness. We all know these are lame reasons but continually saying I need some Sweetness in my morning seems a bit intrusive. Instead we say, Plum left his jacket here, may need that. Or, do you have any more dairy pills for the school? So visits there have been numerous, just not at our home. A quick call to mama, an invitation to have daddy help run the beasts with Chef before our day trip left them alone for hours, it was enough to bring mama and daddy and Sweetness to our door. Until they were here, I didn’t realize how important that visit was, how much I wanted them in our space.
I sent Mama to Plum’s room to retrieve extra clothes, to the freezer to claim some extra food. Of course she needed her arms free for all of this, my arms were empty and ready for some Sweetness. Then an incredible thing happened. I walked throughout the house, into Plum’s room, with this child in my arms and my heart exploded. I looked into her eyes, she smiled and finally slept and I was lost in the déjà vu. Plum’s room that once was a nursery, the toy room that once was mama’s room. Looking out the front windows as birds fluttered from tree to tree, remembering the hours Plum and I sat and watched and sang our “Birdie” song which will never be heard outside our home. Carrying the second child, the sibling, brought a gush of emotion I didn’t anticipate. When I loved him throughout all those walks and rocks to sleep, I was dreaming of the possibilities. Now I have a model of what a grandchild running about the yard looks like. Now I have a real vision to attach to the dreams of pounding feet on the steps and toys scattered about the living room. My soul told Miss Sweetness that one day she too could rush about the back yard and dig in the mud, that we would do experiments in the kitchen and take so many bubble baths. My heart sang to her and she slept in my arms.
Later, as I tried to explain to Plum just how amazing it was to carry his sister around the house, how I remembered doing the same with him, I choked up and began to cry. He said, “Yeah, I know, happy tears.” Joy in the carrying, the sharing, the remembering. Joy in Sweetness sleeping as I walked and rocked and patted her tiny bottom, a rhythm so intrinsic to my body, I music that I hear only with a baby in my arms. The dance of motherhood, of long nights and anguished evenings with colicky babies, my body moves of its own accord. God brought some joy over to our home, a delightful sprinkling of baby coos and remembered dreams. One day I know this home will be filled with all of our grandchildren, Plum shepherding all the little girls about the yard and establishing rules about the toy room. He was here first, will always be the one who broke us in. He opened us so wide, destroyed any walls we tried to erect to protect our hearts, he paved the way for his little sister and his cousins and a new sister to come. He taught us to love under extreme circumstances and to forgive beyond our abilities and desires. He teaches us that he is worth every sacrifice, worth every discomfort and to keep showing up.
In the dark days I never dared even dream of this day thus I know that anything is possible through God’s grace and relentless pursuit of our hearts. I carried my granddaughter through our home and whispered love to her. I told her I carried her big brother the same way. I told her I carried her cousin Princess the same way. I pray I get the chance to know my newest granddaughter while she is still carriable. One day I will write about Princess visiting again, filling the bird feeder on her own tree. She will introduce me to her sister. Another granddaughter due in May, so many little girls. They will come to play and make messes and I will cry, watching them all through the blur. Plum will assure everyone there is nothing to worry about, he knows my happy tears. After all, they fell on him first.