After impressing her with my bike rack/bike tying skills (“Oooohhh, Grammy! My bike is so safe! It won’t fall off!”), I buckled her in her car seat and we were off to the bike trail. (Part of our conversation along the way: “I love my baby sister. We get to keep her!” along with her asking and me answering at LEAST 30 times “Are we there yet?”)
From the moment Cassie threw her positive pregnancy test stick on my menu at Applebee’s, I dreamed of this day. Me – post-weight-loss and in love with biking – teaching my grandchild the joys of a trail.
Today’s ride was everything I’d dreamed and more.
Claire – 3½ years old and 3½ feet tall – has taught me more than any human ever has. As we rode today, with me riding alongside her and protecting her from the edge (“You’re high up there, Grammy! You have a big bike.”), I felt not only the responsibility of being a grandparent, but an even greater love for her than I can possibly explain.
Claire named her bike Fast Star. As she peddled along the path right around 3.8 mph (which is a heckuva lot harder for me on a “big bike” to maintain than peddling 10 or 12 mph because of the balance factor), once in awhile she’d yell, “Go Fast Star! Go fast!” and get her speed up to 5.1. Talk about keeping me on my peddling toes.
“Don’t run over the worms, Grammy!”
“There’s a cardinal!”
“What’s that butterfly, Grammy?”
“A swallowtail,” I said.
|Taking a water break.|
Welcome to Life, My Little Grandbaby!
You’re no bigger than a walnut, with webbed stubs and budding eyes, but you’re my favorite kid on the planet.
I love you because you are alive, multiplying cells, developing hands and feet and ears and kidneys and a liver and a brain. Somewhere along the way I hope you develop a good sense of humor, too. You’ll need it in this family.
I learned of your existence in a way only your momma would do. Grandpa Larry and I met her at Applebee’s for lunch three weeks ago and she threw her home pregnancy test on my menu, having secretly taken it a few minutes earlier in the restaurant bathroom because she suspected you were inside her, lurking. Yet even after we saw the faint blue plus sign, we read the instructions over and over again, making sure we were seeing it right. News of your life took a little while to sink in.
But exist you do, growing and turning into the little person I’ll teach to make lefse and bird seed cakes. You’re the little person I’m going to read all my favorite children’s books to and let stay up past your bedtime because we’ve made a tent in the living room. We’ll eat s’mores by flashlight and listening to Raffi and sing “Baby Beluga,” just like I did with your momma and Aunt Carlene.
You will be adored by many, but I, of course, will adore you above all others because I am your Granny Lynn. Your mom and dad will think you’re groovy, too, but I promise to love you like no other. We’re going to have a good time as you grow up, my little grandbaby. You are my future, my anticipation, my happiness, and delight. You’re showing me a new kind of love. My mother and my neighbor Martha told me I wouldn’t understand the whole grandmother thing until I experienced it, and they were right. I love your momma and your aunt and your uncles Kevin and Andy more than I can explain, but you are different. I love you in a way that is wild. We will talk together, laugh together, work together. Discipline will be negotiable between us.
You’re causing your momma to break out like she was 13. Good for you. Just try not to beat her up too much, ok? Be safe in there.
I don’t care if you get your dad’s bad sinuses or your mom’s bad hips, my lack of coordination or your grandpa’s taste in music. We’ll work through it. Just come out screaming and everything will be fine.
I’ll see you in October, little one, and not a moment sooner. Stay inside until every last cell you need is in place. I’ll be there, waiting to welcome you to the other side.