I respectfully request that you humor me.
I am doing the happy dance. I will be headed south to Honduras this next week. It's been just over four months since I have seen my youngest granddaughter, and my "missing my grandkids" bell starts to ring quite loudly after just two. She is coming up on 21 months, and she is changing so quickly that it makes my head spin. When Hollie was pregnant, I gave her this small piece of advice: Just when you think things are under control (i.e., the eating schedule, the sleeping schedule), things will shift and you will have to re-evaluate and adapt changes for your "new normal." That is because a tiny baby is constantly evolving by their quicker-than-life growth -- first, a small child, then a bigger small child, then a grade-schooler, a tweener, and a teen. Every season of their lives has its own set of challenges. What about the "I wanna do it myself!" stage or the "No, it's mine!" stage or the "My hair looks horrible!" stage or the "Nobody likes me!" stage? With each new stage comes a new set of trials, but always a new set of joys as well.
Since early May when I last saw her, she has: Mastered the art of running and jumping and climbing onto the sofa all by herself; she has siginificantly improved her motor skills and can throw a ball like a champ; she knows faces (even on wavy Skype) and can call people by name. And her personality has changed significantly as well. She wrinkles that little nose, shows her temper, can shriek to the highest heaven, and lets you know in no uncertain terms what she wants and that she wants it RIGHT NOW!. They (her parents) are teaching her to use her words to let them know what she needs and she is doing quite well at that. And thanks to a daughter and son-in-love who try really hard to send pictures and videos and Skype as often as possible, I have been able to share in these milestones through virtual reality. It thrills my heart when she sees my face come up on the computer and she screams "NaaaNa!" There I am, melted into a puddle of emotional goo on the floor.
However, no matter how pleasing it is to see an image of a slice of double-fudge cake, it's just not the same as taking a big bite of that cake in reality. Likewise for a giggling, curly-headed mop of a little girl named Preston Noelle. This nana's hands are itching to touch, hold, stroke, and squeeze tight. I am also looking forward to many sloppy kisses, just the way she knows how to give them. The Good Lord willing, I'm just one week away from doing all of the above. It will take an early morning trek during the Atlanta rush hour to make it to Hartsfield to board a 3.5 hour flight, then go through customs (ugh, and I don't speak a lick of Spanish exact Hola and a few other greetings), then travel the hour or so through the craziness of a developing country's capitol city and just out of town up to the mountain where the little cherub abides and flits about her flurry of daily activities. It seems she stays really busy these days stacking up boxes, lining up her babies, and helping mommie clean (I say that in the loosest form of the word "clean"). In my mind's eye I can see her running to me at the airport, yelling, "NaaaNa!" It's worth every single bit of the effort it takes to get there, and I am beyond excited! Sometimes I wonder why God has allowed all my children to move so far away from me when being with them is really all I ever want to do. I occasionally indulge in a pity party and think to myself What have I done to deserve this? Is God punishing me for something? But I have had people say to me, "Well, you love to travel, maybe that's His way of allowing you to do that." And that is quite true, I do enjoy traveling. Also, I know that my little Preston by virtue of being my daughter's daughter is involved in a picture that is so much bigger than this nana wanting to see her grandbaby. She is a part of a grander plan.
So...after four years of adjusting to my daughter and her family living out of the country, I have somewhat adjusted to my "new normal" I think...or, uh-oh, does this mean changes are coming...will I have to adjust to another "new normal" soon? That, I don't know, but this I do: My angel baby will be squiggling to get out of my arms in less than 200 hours, me attemping to chase her around and hold onto the package of preciousness that she is, as she struggles to break free in her quest to be her own little independent self. And she will do all that, despite the fact that her nana has traveled 1400 miles to see her.
Posted by CC
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