I’m not sure but I think it was a microorganism that altered the course of my week. Thank God for things unseen that create such disorder in a small body that a grandma is required for full restoration. I’m talking about the flu bug and let me just say I am secretly thrilled. I had the pleasure of spending the entire day with my granddaughter. She came with a snotty nose, slight fever, and the trots. I’m pretty sure God loves me best.
She screamed to the high heavens when Julie entered my bedroom carrying the infected munchkin in her arms. Pure glee. I, of course, was lounging in bed with a lusciously warm beverage, total bed head, and faceless (no make-up). She is unscathed by the ghastly image. Love her. After flinging herself into my arms, she organized her binki and rag, then snuggled up like a pampered cat. I’m so happy I have to pinch myself because this could all be a really good dream. Poof, I’d wake up next to my regular roommate, who is adamantly opposed to mental repose. There is a diagnosis for people like this but I don’t like to label and he does refill my coffee. So there’s that.
Lacking her normal energy she took my advice and settled in for a morning movie. We watched Finding Nemo and I have to say I was as enthralled as Audrey. The fish are rather helpful for finned creatures and Ellen DeGeneres does a great voice over. The dentist office scene is hysterical. I start designing a swanky aquarium in my mind with a sunken treasure chest, ceramic cave, and exotic water plants. I read somewhere that watching fish is boring, I mean calming, and I have good reason to consider such an investment. Have you met my husband?
This is absolutely my favorite thing in life, lounging in bed all morning, rumpled pajamas, granddaughter at my side, watching old movies. Why is it so much better the second time around? I’m thinking regular sleep, maturity, and a Starbucks on every corner. If eternity gets any better than this, I won’t be able to stand it.
The things I do with Audrey are not noteworthy or predictable but nevertheless invaluable. It takes us a half hour to walk around the block because we have to stop every few feet and explore. I never give myself permission to just wander the neighborhood, expect nothing, and marvel at every unexpected surprise. The dirt, the flowers, the crack in the sidewalk, the water in the gutter, the dead bug, the neatly piled leaves now scattered, a scampering squirrel, the way grandma takes chase when Audrey runs, all fodder for her amusement and joy. We rolled a pill bug down the driveway several times and found out they don’t get dizzy. Who knew?
“Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.” Alice Walker
When my kids were small I was so immersed in details, I felt suffocated, and breathless most of the time. Everything was patterned and predictable to a degree. Wake up, eat, dress, deliver, create order out of chaos, pick-up, eat, sleep, repeat. Nietzsche says, “one must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star.” I sent up four stars and they’ve yet to come down.
Raising kids is like being abducted by aliens, you have this unbelievable experience, but you can’t remember a thing, because they keep your brains in a jar on the mother ship, and only return your body. I did miss my mind on occasion. I used to enjoy spending time there, alone, immersed, timeless, lost, and immune to the distractions of the world. This is the well that never goes dry, but no matter how deep I went, I could not reach water. Speaking of water…
There she sits in the center of my tub, in the center of my world, in the center of my focus. I am willingly captivated. I laugh. Loud, brave, bold. I remember getting in trouble for laughing too loud at school when I was in the second grade. Our entire table got docked five points because of my big mouth. Traumatized, I haven’t bellowed like this in decades, then the dog joins us. Half the day is gone. It simply disappeared and best of all I haven’t given dinner a single thought. Larry who?
Asha Tyson says, “Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time.” Hell no. I can’t believe I get to be in this child’s life, to know her smell, to watch her tantrums, to engage her interest, to memorize the words of her favorite song, to talk of nothing and everything, to embrace, to nourish, to love, to become a grandma. And her mom totally fell for the flu bug thing. Good plan God.
Let’s linger in the comments for a while, talk about the life span of pill bugs, and such.