Staying with Albie and Sollie and their Parents
I recently spent a full month with my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons, ages 1 month and 25 months. And I mean WITH them, in their small apartment. I slept on a futon in the dining room. With my son-in-law working 12-hour days, 6 days a week as a resident, and the family planning to move to larger quarters, I felt my daughter needed the help. And it turned out that I got the most help.
The acts of rocking and singing lullabies to a baby, changing a diaper, and bathing and dressing a newborn are tactile and, to me, enjoyable and relaxing. Watching the face of an infant, in sleep or as he tries to mimic your moving mouth, is thrilling. Feeling the grasp of his hand on your finger and observing him lifting his head and looking around as he lies with his tummy on your chest are delightful sensations. Trying to figure out why he’s crying and what will soothe him are challenges that can mostly be overcome with some ingenuity and patience (or his mother!), and doing so was always a great satisfaction.
As for the two year old, what could be better than taking part in all the antics I wrote about in “What a Two Can Do, “earlier this year? I can get myself laughing until tears come, just remembering certain moments, most of which involved his uproarious laughter. Not long ago I had a chance to compare notes with his other grandmother, and we shamelessly raved on about our grandson’s mannerisms, language, perceptions, and relationship to his new brother and each of his parents. How can a person who has been on this earth for only 25 months know and do so much? What a wonder! And an important reminder of how much learning goes on in the very first years of our lives.
While I did grocery shopping, meal prep and clean up, laundry, and other housework, my long visit left me relaxed and refreshed in mind, body, and spirit. The best sort of vacation!