Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A grandson is born

"Just a little green, like the color when the spring is born."

I need to update my bio. Because, "soon a grandchild" is now a very real flesh and bone 6 lb. 3 oz. baby named Ryland.

Ryland made his appearance 5 days early, on June 10. I was melting glass on a steamy Sunday when I got the call that my daughter was at the hospital and today was the day. And a long day it was, despite this era of cell phones and text messages and Facebook, so different than when I gave birth. My parents waited at my house for more than 12 hours with no information until I was in my room and could call and let them know they had a granddaughter.

And now that granddaughter is a mother and I am a grandmother and my mom is a great grandmother, although sadly she will never really know it. My mom has dementia and barely knows me now, and thinks her aide is her daughter and her husband, my dad, is nearby. Well, maybe he is. I hope so. He would have loved having a great grandson.

Right now I am sitting with 3 dogs and a cat while my daughter feeds Ryland in her room. She is very private and I'm trying to figure out my role as grandma. Today it was mostly a matter of being a couch potato, and a few precious hours of holding sleepy Ryland who has his nights and days flip flopped. I would have been more than happy to take him for a while in the middle of the night and let the big kids sleep, but my daughter wants to do it all herself. I've read most of a book and eaten meals that my son-in-law's grandparents and the kids' friends have brought ove.

Before I came, I told my husband that I wasn't sure what I'd be doing. When my parents came for the birth of my babies, my mom cooked and cleaned. But as I told my husband, I'm not that kind of mom. His answer was, so you pick up food and bring it in. Yep, I could do that. But I haven't had to and we've barely put a dent in what we have here already.

Jason's granddad even came over at 7 am with donuts, and coffee for me. Yuban, for the coffee maker they brought over last night. I actually stopped on the drive up to pick up some instant coffee. But real coffee is so much more comforting. And it was incredibly thoughtful of the kids, who aren't coffee drinkers, to arrange for my morning coffee. I'm sure it would have been the last thing on my mind,

The first thing Ryland did when I met him was to spit up on me, reminding me of how my own kids were big spitters. Kandace wore a bib 24/7 for the first year of her life at least. So far Ryland has been less spitty, after that first annointment. He's a good little baby, at least from my perspective, having slept soundly all last night myself. Beautiful of course, fair coloring and eyes that may just stay blue, like my younger daughter's did. Chubby kissable cheeks, soft baby skin, perfect tiny fingers and toes. But all babies are beautiful I think, and remember my mom saying, where do all the ugly adults come from?

I hold Ryland and for a few moments I imagine myself again a young mother, except that now I have more patience, more appreciation of how quickly time passes, and I feel a small tug of sadness that, as much as I loved my children, I didn't treasure each and every moment then as I would now. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't do it again, as my mom also said, it's a good thing that children are born to the young and energetic. Which is sort of funny considering my mom always had more energy that I did, until she hit her 80s anyway. Now she sleeps as much as Ryland does.

And now I am sitting with 3 dogs and a cat and a baby, because my daughter is a day smarter and decided that maybe grandma could take the baby for a while and let her get a head start on a night's sleep. He was bright eyed for a few too-fleeting minutes before sinking into a milk-satiated snooze. So I have him at my feet in a little rocker seat where I can watch him and listen to him breathing, and if he gets fussy I can pick him up and walk him until it is time for his next feeding. I so well remember that the hardest time for me with my infants was when they fussed after I had slept for only one hour.

It's a good thing that I took that 1.5 hour nap this afternoon. I'm settling in with my book. I'll take the shift until 2 am or until I get too sleepy. That's the best thing about grandchildren, if you get too sleepy, you get to give them back to their parents.

"Now I feel your skin as smooth as silk, drunk like a baby on his mama's milk..." Marc Cohn

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