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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well, I wasn't ready for THAT!

Well, well, some unexpected emotions have been making themselves most unwelcome today. I have no idea where they came from, am completely aware that they are ridiculous apart from the fact that at the time, they were very real. So real in fact that I wept copious amounts of stinging tears.
The whole experience of becoming a grandmother has been extraordinarily powerful, I had no idea that I would feel so strongly about this little scrap who is only mine in a second hand way. Once removed. From a distance.
The mothering instinct doesn't leave when your child has a child. I want my son to enjoy every positive and blissful second of being a father. I want him to excel in as many ways as is possible in the raising of this precious boy.
There are so many ways in which Joshua, should he following his fathers footsteps, will be the most glorious man. What better start is there for a boy than to have a father he should emulate?
Jordan is young and he hasn't had a particularly good role model for a father. His dad has loved him but has been ineffectual, he has stumbled at every single important hurdle. Luckily, the effect that this has had on Jordan is to make him determined to be different. Phew. Take a deep breath.
Jordan has faced some nightmares in his life that most young men don't face. He beat them, he is a good man. He is also very young.
I have watched him work, climb his chosen career ladder, I see people gravitate towards him and I feel enormous pride that I did so much of that. I know that he is who he is, I also know that I raised him from 23 months until he was 12 on my own. Through unbelievable circumstances.
He is a wonderful man, I am breathtakingly thrilled with how he is with his tiny son.
What I am trying to say in my long winded way, is that I still feel so much the mother, not just to him but to Mel and I am so grateful to be able to help them in the ways I can. H, as always is so gentle and accommodating, staying here with the squitty bum boys ( and raise a hand in gratitude to Joshua because without his being born, you so would have had daily and detailed account of how often and how violently these 3 boys have expelled their bodily contents over the past FOURTEEN DAYS, enough said) while I swan off to go to reflexology appointments, to go and walk with Mel, to run here and there, to see my grandson born, to kiss him, bath him, go shopping.
I don't feel the mother to Joshua, what I feel for him is something so new, I have yet to work out how it works. I want to give him the sun, moon and earth and I want to wrap it nicely.
I knew that I would love the fact that the nitty gritty is not my worry, I am so done with teething and night feeds, bulky great nappy bags, folding pushchairs up and down and all that malarkey.
So onto the bit that hit me in the heart and head today.
The first one has been to visit, big deal. We all know that this is a happy little blip in hi sself centred life, ooooh grandbaby, must visit and make a fuss, have fun and grasp the moment and then fizzle off into the distance while I continue my quest for happiness, must find happiness for ME, grandbaby is cute but must keep on keeping on doing what is needed for ME.
Whoppidoo. So why was my stupid heart and head so sad that fizzy grandad gave silver things and presents, a wad of cash and a big gesture? Beats me, but it did. A lot.
Mels mum is here, from Turkey, also buying presents and toys and stuff and more stuff. She is the other Nana. I want to be Nana but darn it if I can't quite make myself say it and when I open my mouth I hear myself saying " Let gramma get you a squeeze!" Gramma? That's my MUM! Who's gramma?? Oh well, we will see. Anyway, the thing is, I found myself snot crying in the kitchen to a bewildered H. Snot crying without any punctuation at all ( but will add some, just to make it easier to share)
"oh I know I am stupid and I know what I CAN give is so much more important and actually I remember my mum crying about this and I thought she was CRAZY but the thing is they are all buying him stuff and giving him hundreds of pounds for his bank account and toys and more stuff and I spent all our money on reflexology and petrol and knickers and newspapers and Lucozade so Mel would have energy to push and parking and lunch and more oils and more parking and boring stuff like chewing gum so I wouldn't breathe smelly breath on Mel when I was whispering to her to push harder and now I have no money for silver things and toys but wait til I go to Boston, he is getting stuff no-one else can buy because Argos? Stuff Argos! I am going to Boston and Cathy has Ralph Lauren stuff for him but I didn't buy that but she is my friend and so its sort of because of me and Jenn has a tiny little basketball kit for him and everyone loves him so I know this is all so stupid but WHY CAN'T I STOP CRYING?? The other Nana is going out tonight so I am going to get me a fix and give him a bath and that will be lovely won't it?"
And guess what, I did and it was.
It was bath time and you know that feeling when you are new at something and you know it needs doing but you are a bit scared to do it? That's bathtime at Joshuas house.
"He needs a bath but he hates it and I really wish I didn't have to do it because he really hates it but he needs it" said Mel ( who is English and hasn't heard that in America you don't bath a baby when it still has a cord, or that if you do it might all end terribly because we are in England and horror of horrors we DO give teeny tiny babies baths and wash off all the stinky old milk and pee and stuff. And guess what? Nothing. Sweet smelling babies with everything still working and the sky doesn't fall in, imagine that!)
So, oooh let me at him, can I do it? And Jordan came too.
Big bath with one of those impressive shaped hard plastic contraptions that support the baby. Right.
So I shoved that out of the way and I lay him in the water, hand under his head, he was screaming until I put the plam of his hand under the warm water. It is like magic. Enough water to cover him sufficiently to keep him warm, head and ears above the water and a firm grip, put that palm under the water and miracle of miracles the screaming will stop, those tightly screwed eyes will open and a look of such bliss you just know life is really alright.
Jordan stopped dead in his tracks, he called Mel...
"what? No screaming so I know he isn't in there yet and Oh would you look at you .."
"She just put his hand under the water and let him hold her finger...LOOK, oh mate, Nana really knows!"
Yes, she does and you know what? There isn't a silver certificate holder that can hold a candle to what Nana knows. Is there?
And for your enjoyment would you see what else Nana did?

( tiniest of teeny feet, be still my heart!)

Itty bitty finger nails.




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Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

YOU da Nana!!! I wish you were MY Nana!

10:52 pm  
Blogger Elise said...

Congratulations a thousand times over. I really, REALLY wish that you could be with me if and when it is my time to give birth, give first baths, etc! I would rather than than a THOUSAND dollars in the account!

11:14 pm  
Blogger Sarah and Matt Mitchell said...

No amount of money can replace the memories that you are making and the bond that is forming between you and your sweet grandbaby. And I am sure Mel and Jordan know that and appreciate that much more than all the silver knick knacks in the world!

12:07 am  
Blogger TN said...

You are the BEST. You are doing the things that REALLY matter. That's what Joshua will remember!
Love the feet picture.

12:14 am  
Blogger Becca said...

Those pictures are heart warming! You have a wonderful talent. Don't mind about anyone else, do what you do best..... love.

He is gorgeous

12:53 am  
Blogger TheAlbrechtSquad said...

Love conquers all my friend.

Precious pics...

4:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you are doing for Joshu and his parents is way more important than a few gifts that will be forgotten in the months to come. As for the cash, let grampa do somthing. It's probably all he will ever do (we know how he operates already). Mel and Jordan will never forget the things you have been a part of and will continue to be. Cry away and then enjoy the trip to Boston.

9:52 am  
Blogger Julie Q said...

You the Nana Helen. No doubt in my mind. :)

And Joshua will remember all those cute crafty things you will do with him around the holidays. :)

11:20 am  
Blogger mom of 2 said...

Oh, you the Nana!! I LOVE the picture of tiny baby feet in your sons big hand...priceless!

It's funny how things are different in America and England. I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and things when my kids were being born. IV drips to induce the baby to come, heart monitors for the baby and blood pressure monitor for me...craziness! And you are right...they tell you not to get the belly button area wet until the cord falls off. I did bathe my babies though and you are right, they smelled so sweet and not a single bad thing happened! Again, thanks for sharing with us. Little Joshua is absolutely precious!

2:20 pm  
Blogger MamaTink said...

In the end, Mel will have to polish that silver, and it will become another chore. But when she's a Nana, and she's giving those first'll be with love and pride that she applies all that you've taught her. And that will mean the world to her. So much more than dollars that will be spent, and gifts that need dusting and polishing.

YOU da Nana. Revel in it :)

2:27 pm  
Anonymous Di said...

Helen - wish you'd stop making me cry with your blog. It's really not nice you know! ;)
Seriously though, YOU are the Nana! You get to hang around and be there all the time. Like I said before, warm memories last - trinkets & cash will be forgotten.

8:14 pm  

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