I just spent an entire week with the most precious creature on God’s earth— and weirdly, didn’t write about any of it in this blog. Usually my visits to granddaughter Zadie dominate the blogscape, so why not this time? Am I already blasé?
Au contraire. At two years and 9 months, with a vocabulary doubled since I saw her last in May, she delights me, astounds me, amuses me, fills me love beyond human speech. There’s all sorts of grandparent things to boast about— already hopping on one foot while chanting “Boing! Boing! Boing!” recognizing letters, singing some 15 songs that she requests, re-telling the fairy tales I tell her. All the proud Pop-pop moments that are boring for others to hear about and perhaps even in bad taste to boast about. But that’s part of our job, yes?
It’s well known that the grandparent relation since time immemorial is a deep one, by-passing the parents who have to do all the hard work and leaping right to the soul-to-soul connection. We get to do all the fun stuff— sing the songs, tell the stories, feed each other ice cream, run down the sand dune, canoe in the lake (I did the paddling), wrestle on the floor, put together the puzzle. And yes, occasionally some mild discipline, that’s part of the deal too and after all, she is still two. But mostly it’s party-time!
And though Zadie’s strong-willed self has many “NO!” moments when you don’t do things they way she wants, right now!, she is overall quite a party gal with what appears to me a sophisticated sense of humor. One of her great acts is to put her hands on the side of her face and exclaim, “Oh my gosh!” and then giggle hysterically as all the adults do also. She learned an amazing eyebrow trick that had us rolling on the floor as well. We had a big laughing fit when I snuck some quesadilla (which she calls pizza) in her little bowl of bacon. She discovered it and then exclaimed, “The pizza jumped into the bacon!” and that was good for about five minutes of other foods jumping in and out with laughter galore. Then we taught her the fist bump cool greeting and invented the circle fist bump at the dinner table, much to everyone’s delight. Some people pay money to go to something called laughter therapy. Should we rent her out? Get her saving for college tuition?
So let the record show that this visit, like every visit I’ve ever had, was an extraordinary time with an extraordinary little person, who just gets more delightful and interesting with each passing day. The most painful part of the visit is the moment of leaving and knowing it will be another two months or so until we meet again. And then I’m sure that within five minutes of the visit, seeing all her new skills and delights, I’ll put my hands to the side of my face and exclaim, “Oh my gosh!!!”