This I Know
I know I still want to write. There is a lot to say about what I’ve been thinking, but I don’t know how to say it or where to start.
I know I miss my friends. I know what they are up to for the most part, but I miss them physically. We’ve lost family. We’ve lost beloved furkids. We’ve lost mutual friends. I think we need to hug each other. We need to laugh together. We need to reconnect with our silly selves.
I know that I am kicking ass at this whole Grandmom gig. Logan is 4 and goes to preschool twice a week. Soon it will be full time. I’ll miss the time I spend with him. He loves Legos, wrestling, and video games. We go to the library and I can sit and read while he plays with other kids and plays learning games on the computer. It’s great. My grandbaby Claire is two and a half. She is also going to be a big sister this summer. She is beautiful. She is imaginative, artistic, musical, and vocal. She has had very little “baby talk”. She loves Flyers hockey and Union soccer and goes to a few of the games with her daddy. She comes over here and greets me with such an enthusiastic “Hi Mom-Mom!!” and she gives great hugs.
I know that the hubby and I can survive each other for long periods of time alone. We drove across the country to see the Grand Canyon, Garden of the Gods and visited family in New Mexico. He wants to do it again and I am not afraid to do it again! This year will be 36 years of marriage. I think we’ve been quite successful.
I know that my parents won’t be here forever. Dad had throat cancer. It was terrifying. He came through like a champ and is now cancer-free (knock wood) but the thought of losing him was so hard for me. Mom is still Mom. Our relationship is changing and I don’t like that. I will just say that I am probably as much to blame for that as she is. We are too much alike. *sigh*
I know it’s raining outside and the dampness is making me achy. I am so fucking cranky right now that I don’t know what to do with myself.
I know Logan is waiting to cuddle and watch a video.
I know it’s time to turn off the laptop.
As Time Goes By
It’s been a year since I stopped by. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the saying goes.
In the past year, Babygirl has graduated from college. Yes, college.
I am the grandmother of a beautiful little girl and a terribly cool little boy. Girl has gotten past her “shy stage” and now calls me “Mom-Mom”. We play tea party and color. Logan teaches me lots on his Kindle. We watch some strange tv shows and have adventures when we leave the house.
I have quit smoking. Yes, QUIT! May 30th will mark one year. It was hard. After all the tries with the patch and gum, I finally did it cold turkey. I don’t miss it either. A rare day will show up and I will simply light a smoke and put it out. I can’t bring myself to smoke.
I am still married to my wonderful husband. We still run our business, but it is time to bring on our sons. In the upcoming couple of years, they will be taught to bid jobs, keep an inventory, and take care of the business. Hubs is ready to retire. He will stay on for the foreseeable future, but it is huge step nonetheless.
While I have enjoyed all of these changes, I haven’t enjoyed some changes in myself. I’ve become complacent about my weight and health. I simply don’t care. I have also become extremely judgemental. I criticize the television, celebrities, the government, news, my husband, my kids, my shoes, my dogs, my life. Why? Not a clue. I hear my mother every time my mouth opens and I slam it shut. This is something I am working on. I don’t care if I get fat. I just don’t want to allow myself to become a bitter woman.
Other than that? Not much. I see most of you on facebook. I’ve kept up with you, your families, jobs, etc. The blog roll on the left? I couldn’t tell you who is still writing. One or two are, but I’m about out. I only stopped here to see if it was still mine.
I’ll pop back. Maybe. I’ll let y’all know.
Smiles and Tears
Again I have lapsed, my friends. My life is very busy. I have lots to do and have rediscovered the joy of reading in a quiet house. I haven’t actually watched a movie in quite some time and even most of my nighttime shows are caught in a random hour here and there.
My days are spent with Logan, mostly at his house. This isn’t an excuse. Why? Because I am offering no excuses. This is more of an explanation of my happiness. The child truly is sunshine. He rarely cries-even while teething! So far, we have two bottom teeth, accompanied by lots of chewing and drool. He has now started baby food and so far, it seems that squash is a favorite.
Carrots are definitely not a favorite.
We play, we laugh, and oh, my do I smile! I recently realized just how much I smile when I was getting ready to go out. I was putting on eyeliner and as I looked into the
soul-sucking magnifying mirror, I noticed fine lines at crease of my eyes. I always had a few, but these are deeper. Know what? I am not freaked out by them. On the contrary, I am embracing them. They are my badge of grandmotherhood.
Logan has also learned to crawl. This happened two weeks ago. This week, he is pulling himself up….on the steps, on the coffee table, the couch, the dogs…you name it, he is the Edmund Hillary of the house.
And as long as I am telling you all of this, I may as well jump in and tell you what happened today.
Babygirl is home for the summer and her new roommate drove an hour today to hang out and have dinner with her. Just in case they were eating here, I made meatballs and sausage for sandwiches. Logan settled in for his nap and Babygirl went upstairs to get her shower. I sat right beside Logan on the couch. Normally we snuggle up together on the couch or on the floor. Sometimes I can get him to sleep in his car seat. Today, though, I was sitting beside him. He slept for an hour before I remembered that the meatballs were still in the oven. I could smell that they were done or needed to be turned. Either way, they needed attention. Since Logan still had about half an hour in his usual nap time, I jumped from the couch and ran to the kitchen. I opened the oven, stirred the meat around and was ready to close it up and return when I heard the thud.
He rolled off the couch.
I never leave that child alone! I toss him into the pack-n-play, the car seat, the floor….but never on the couch. The one time I did….for only 30 seconds….
He cried then. Oh, yes, he did. He looked at me bewildered by this new sensation of pain. I cradled him in my arms and kissed him, tasting his tears on my lips. My heart was pounding. I couldn’t take it away for him. I cried as he cried. And after all the boogers were wiped from his nose, he smiled. He hugged me and snuggled up. We looked out the front door at the cars passing by. When there was lull in the cars he looked at me and I saw it….
…..an egg on his forehead.
I cried a little more as I tried to hold an ice pack to his head. He cried a little more as he tried to avoid it.
Then his dad came home early. (Of course!) I could tell he wanted to yell at me. He knew it was an accident. But he also knew that he was the one who would have to tell Shenanigans. I felt even worse, knowing that she would freak out about it. He packed up Logan’s stuff and ran out to pick up Shenanigans at work. I cried a little more in the bathroom, rinsed off my face and finished dinner. I found it very hard to feed myself.
I talked to Son1 tonight. Shenanigans was a little upset, but as he said, she will get over it. Logan comes back tomorrow, and I will admit that I feel a little nervous. After all these years of caring for kids, Logan isn’t the first one to roll off the couch. He isn’t the first to get a goose egg. I’m sure he won’t be the last. But the fact that this is his first lump, his first real bruise…..and it happened at my house…it rattled me.
Tomorrow I’ll get back on that horse again, and laugh and sing and play……
And nap on the floor, right beside him.
You May Know…..
You may know that I spend time with Logan.
You may not know that I spend every Friday with him. I get so excited about Friday’s arrival that sometimes I can’t sleep on Thursday night or else I wake up far too early. Each week I take my coupons along to clip, a crossword or two from the Sunday papers, or my kindle. Quite often I bring them home again, untouched. He is almost rolling over, almost teething. He definitely laughs and talks to me. He anticipates “3” as in “1-2- THREE!” He is a bright sun in my week.
You may know that I just celebrated a birthday.
You may not know that it was my fiftieth. I spent time with friends which is always a great time. I was taken out to dinner with my kids, husband and best friend and her husband. It was better than any of us had anticipated. It has been far too long since we have included the bestie and her hubs in an intimate celebration. I’m glad they were invited!
You may know that I have missed Babygirl since she returned to school.
You may not know just how much I missed her. I didn’t even realize it until I saw her when she came home on Friday. For once, I didn’t break the hug first. I breathed in the smell of her hair and her scalp…something I haven’t done in years. I found myself just watching her when she wasn’t looking. I stopped whatever I was doing if I could hear her voice talking to her dad or brother….not listening to the conversation, just to the sound of her voice, her laughter.
You may know that I haven’t been here.
You may not know that I have thought about writing a post, but I am actually quite happy. I tend to post when I am experience a high or a low. I have been quite content with my life. I have enjoyed spending time with my kids. I enjoyed a few days here and there with my husband. I even enjoyed going to the dentist…after far too long since the last visit!
You may know that I miss hearing from you guys.
If you don’t know…..I’m telling you now.
From the Depths of My Sadness…..
I haven’t stopped in for a while and there are very good reasons for this.
First off, when Mom-Mom died, it hit me very hard. Upon the phone call, I promptly got a migraine that didn’t let up until I saw her body. I wasn’t sleeping very well at all and even my sleep aids weren’t working. I was depressed, tired and very, very testy. To top it off, the funeral coincided with a dental appointment that Hubs had been waiting for since New Years. He had all but two teeth pulled and this was the day that he was going to be molded for his new plates. Now, I understand that he hasn’t eaten well and he must be starved constantly. I understand that even after this molding, there was more to be done. But this wasn’t about him. I was hurt and felt betrayed. I stood by him through the loss of both his parents and his grandparents, as well as cousins and friends. I have been blessed to have lost very few of my own dear ones. I needed him now. Finally, all the emotional and physical pain came to a climax and I let him have it. I also cried like I haven’t in a long, long time. He got the point quickly and stepped up. He was like a body guard, not letting issues or people touch me unless I invited them in. I still walked in a daze. I missed my daughter terribly. I cried while folding laundry. I couldn’t even call my best friend to tell her what I was dealing with. I began to scare myself. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shattered.
At the funeral, as I saw Mom-Mom in her casket, I realized that it wasn’t her. She was tiny, frail. The woman of my memories was robust, a force of nature. Even in her old age, she was the same. It was just in the last few months that she began to waste away. I said goodbye and tucked a letter under her blanket. I turned away and never looked back. The pain in my head disappeared and I suddenly felt so tired. My entire body relaxed and I knew it was the stress and grief that had piled on me. I believe she took it away and told me not to look back.
And from the depths of my soul, the grief was lifted. It was to be replaced with joys uncounted.
My son had brought Logan with him to the funeral at my father’s request. The child came into the church and every tear was replaced with such joy! He smiled at everyone. He was held by one great aunt after another. My own cousins gathered around laughing that I had joined the ranks of ‘grandparent’ (only one other out of 27 is a grandparent) Dad had had the best idea by asking for the baby to attend. It was brilliance. The child fussed a tiny bit after an hour and was ready to be fed. My son did that and he was out for a nap. This was an opportunity to watch my son fully in the Dad-mode. Shenanigans had to work and he was on his own. I was so proud.
I got home from a long, exhausting day and went to bed at 7:30. I woke up at noon the next day.
In this past week, I have been flooded with only good, long lost memories of my grandmother. It makes me smile. I watched Logan Friday and Saturday. They came for dinner on Sunday. I watched Logan again yesterday. Lemme tell ya, a good baby is the best medicine for an aching psyche. I have laughed, and danced my days away. I got together with my best friend and we went shoe shopping. I put on a fun pair of plaid flats….not something that I would normally wear. I ran up and down the aisle of the store laughing. I decided not to spend the money, but she insisted on buying them for me, stating “Chrissy, if they can make you that happy, it would be a sin to deny it”.
She was ri– , ri—……..correct.
So…..after the upheaval and neglect, I expect to spend the day with my doggy boys, bathing and brushing them. I plan on catching up with laundry and finally COOKING!
Life goes on……..
Quite a Lifetime
She kept boxes of books in her upstairs guest room, the room I used when I stayed with her for weeks each summer. It was where I read the Dark Shadows series. I made friends with Agatha Christie, Alexandre Dumas and Mark Twain. I travelled to Narnia, colonial England, and the Valley of the Dolls. I found the Hounds of the Baskervilles and solved the Mystery of the Old Clock.
She never drove. Instead she told me which streets ran north and south and which buses ran on even numbered streets. She taught me so well that I can be placed in the middle of Philadelphia and I would still find my way back to her house. She taught me about trolleys, subways and buses, a lesson I needed frequently during my high school years and beyond.
She could make a hell of a roast, with potatoes that were nearly crispy outside and soft on the inside. And her Jewish apple cake was to die for.
She was active in her church, taking time from her evenings to clean the altar, prepare the prayerbooks and vestments. It was her faith that she passed on her daughters and grandkids. They now serve communion and attend rosary nights.
She had friends who never went out without makeup and drank tea, and others who smoked, drank beer and swore like their dockworker husbands. She loved bingo, pinochle, and crocheting. She was always busy with crafts of some kind until she was betrayed by her eyes, fingers and finally her mind.
She told me about my grandfather’s family. They are stories that much later, I shared with my cousins only to learn that I was the only one ever told! But then, she had shared with them stories that I had never known.
This week, my Mom-Mom passed away. All last week, I was angry and wanted so badly to lash at someone, anyone. I wanted to hit-no, HURT- someone so that they would hurt as badly as I did. I couldn’t put my finger on what was behind such aggression. When I got the phone call from my mom that Mom-Mom had died, it was like a magic wand had been waved. The anger disappeared to be replaced by relief and sadness. I finally realized that the anger had come just when I heard that Mom-Mom wasn’t doing well and had been placed on morphine for her comfort. I knew that morphine meant that the end was near. I was angry that she was being taken from me.
This week with Logan, I held him and sang to him a song my Mom-Mom used to sing to me. I held him on my lap and read to him. I imagine my own grandmother did the same with me. Now I am a grandmother. I wonder if I will live long enough to see Logan’s grandson.
Less than five years short of a century is quite a lifetime.
Mom-Mom, I’m sorry for all the things left unsaid, all the time wasted. I loved you always, and I’ll miss you terribly.
Yesterday, we spent our first whole day together. I want to remember every detail of it. You see, it was the first time that I actually felt like your mom-mom. We were alone. I was yours and you were mine.
I walked in the door and whispered “Hello” because I didn’t know if you were asleep. I was greeted by your wonderfully loud squeal that sounded so much like “HI!” It was the first of so many smiles you gave me. There you were, in your bassinet, all smiles, waves, and kicks. I can’t remember ever seeing a more joyful baby. Have I told you how beautiful you are?
You sat in your little chair and we played. You talked to your giraffe and the little froggie. You are a happy baby.
We lay on your play blanket and even made a fort. You are too young for a fort, but who cares? You laughed and cooed. I pretended that I couldn’t find you, asking “Where’s Logan?” You responded by kicking your feet and squealing. Were you playing too? Were you calling to me? It felt that way.
I fed you and you looked into my eyes while you ate. You held my fingers as your eyes grew heavy. Slowly you grew ‘bottle drunk’. I burped you held you through your hiccups. You threw up on me and I was okay with that. It made you feel better and the smiles returned. I changed your diaper and you were happy through that too. I found your ticklish spots and you giggled for me. It was a beautiful sound.
Eventually you slept and what a peaceful baby you were. Did you dream of playing with me? Did you dream of chasing your dog, Maggie? Or did you dream of Mommy and Daddy and playing with Jazzy? You smiled often while you dreamed.
You woke up and fussed. I could tell your belly bothered you. I felt sad, and wondered if I were to blame. Did you get too much air? Did you not burp enough? You cried. I ran the faucet and you calmed down. Every five minutes or so you did that for half an hour. But when you calmed down, you cooed and smiled. Finally you farted. My lord, child, you sounded like your dad. Then you pooped.
And farted and pooped some more.
I waited until I was sure you were finished and when I removed your diaper, you took my breath away. Goodness, you make big smellies! And then I noticed that it was up your back too. When I took off your onesie, I smeared it in your hair too and you needed a bath. Good thing mommy came home because suddenly I needed extra hands! But I learned how much you love your bath. You happily kicked and squealed as your mommy cleaned you and washed your hair. And you stayed calm as we dressed you afterwards.
All good things must end and our day was one of those good things. Pop-Pop came to pick me up and as we began to drive away, he told me to “stop it”. What was it that he wanted me to stop doing?
I was smiling, ear to ear. Without even realizing it, I was still smiling. You made me so very happy.
I can barely wait until next week when we do this again.
Lemme Break It Down…
Thus the New Year enters…..
Where have I been? you may ask. I’ve been around. The holidays took up a good bit of time. Family took up a good bit more. On the whole, December was an awesome month. I just didn’t blog about it that’s all.
**I spent a few days with Logan without the distraction of family. He slept most of the time of course, but I got to snuggle him.
**December 8th was my mom’s birthday. I didn’t forget it. But I DID forget that it was her SEVENTIETH! Holy shit! What kind of daughter am I to forget that?! I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that also forgot that December 9th was Mom and Dad’s FIFTIETH anniversary. My brothers and sister gave me a lot of grief for that. According to them, since I am the oldest, it is MY responsibility to keep track of these things. I should have planned something big for that. Well, the sibs and I did discuss this back in August. The problem was that work was slowing down for my brothers, my sister wanted something huge with a small price tag and it was too close to the holidays, so the idea was scrapped. We all ended up being at Mom and Dad’s house that night anyway with champagne and Logan. We all agreed to go out for dinner the following week. Joe and his wife weren’t in a place to afford going, but I offered to cover his bill as his birthday was the day after the dinner. Dan offered to pay for Mom and Dad. We went out to dinner-all four of us kids and our spouses as well as Babygirl and Son1. We had a wonderful evening. We sat drinking and laughing and finally waiting and waiting for the bill. Finally my brother Dan asked the waitress to bring it, as we were all ready to leave. She said it had already been paid. My husband paid for it all. All he asked was that they cover the tip generously. And they did. When I asked why he had done that, he said because he knew it meant alot to me to be with the family without stress. And he was right. He told everyone Merry Christmas.
**I spent time with Babygirl and my girlfriends in Center City Philadelphia. We saw a traditional Holiday light show, did more than a little shopping and did lunch/dinner at a very nice restaurant. It was a wonderful day full of laughter and friendship. It is something that we hope to make a tradition for ourselves.
**Christmas Eve was the usual family night. Lots of people, lots to drink and the ONLY time that I went to bathroom, my nephews banged on the door yelling “Aunt Chrissy! Santa Clause is here and he’s looking for YOU!” What the hell? I ran out of the bathroom to see him standing in the middle of my living room, speaking not a word to anyone in the house. He leaned to me and said “Merry Christmas, bitch!” It was my friend Nancy dressed up. I laughed so hard my sides ached. It was a wonderful cherry on the top of the evening. I mean, really! How often does anyone get called a ‘bitch’ by Santa?
The ring on the top is the fake. He did a good job of matching it, no?
**Christmas came and I got gems. I had bought a fake gem ring to wear with an outfit and I loved it. Unfortunately, it was beginning to tarnish and I was sad about that. Hubs remedied that by getting me a real one. I love it. I also love Logan. He is at a cute age where he imitates sticking his tongue out, he laughs and smiles constantly. He certainly brings a new level of joy to the holidays.
**The Friday after Christmas, Hubs had his teeth pulled. This has been a long time coming. It was his Christmas gift to himself. Unfortunately for me, he got all but two pulled and it took alot out of him. And so, I am paying for all the joys he has given me by nursing him through this. We are spending every waking hour together…..every…..waking……hour. I can’t wait for retirement…<–insert sarcastic voice here!
So you see, my friends, I am here, I am busy and I am happy. I just can’t believe that I went almost a whole month away from here. I hope your holidays were full of joys and family. I wish you love, laughter and prosperity in the new year.
I love you all.
Way Back In The Day…….
See that group of people? We go back. Further than high school. Further than grade school. My brothers and sister are in that group. I’ve known them all their lives. The others? They shared cribs and playpens with my siblings. I babysat them. I changed and fed them. We lived next door to each other, around the corner. We knocked on bedroom walls and giggled in the middle of the night.
I remembered my brother’s first kiss with Debbie. We teased that they would marry someday. Instead they ended up going to prom together.
I remember Anthony eating worms and sticking turtles in his pants.
I was jealous of the Barbie’s and accessories that Donna and Diane had. I had a knock-off ‘fashion doll’.
I played wiffleball with all of those boys in the playground behind our houses.
See the guy front and center in the dark hoodie? His name is Joe and he is the baby. He will be 40 on his next birthday…..if he sees his next birthday.
Joe has cancer. His bills have started rolling in and his insurance has just ended. Isn’t that the way things like this happen? We threw a beef and beer to raise money for those bills. Tickets were sold out. Raffles and gift auctions raised even more. There was lots of dancing and drinking and laughter. And food! Good Lord, I’ve never seen so much food! Almost all of it was gone by the end of the night.
More than the money, Joe’s spirits were raised. It’s been forever since all of us were gathered in one room. We hugged each other repeatedly and caught ourselves just staring across the room at each other, smiling with memory.
I remembered our mothers as being taller. Now they are beginning to bend with age. I remembered seeing them coming home after a ‘date night’ with their husbands, slightly flushed and tipsy. Now…..wow, how time flies.
As the holidays come, we will gather with our own families. Maybe one or two will show up at another’s home. We promised to get together more often, but will we? I hate the thought that the next time we will be together, one of us will be missing…..not just somewhere else, but gone.
But damn, it was cool to be little kids again…….if only in our memories.
Tuesday November 01st 2011, 10:23 AM
Filed under: happy
Alas, poor blog, I have again been neglectful. However, I must beg your forgiveness for this time, it was neither mere laziness nor lack of inspiration. It was an event so momentous that it will change my life forever.
I have become a grandmother.
Shortly after the last post, while raking, Hubs stumbled upon a nest of wasps. In their anger, they stung him 8-10 times in the back of his left shoulder. In his haste to pull off the shirt, he tweaked his tendonitis and damaged rotator cuff. This meant a week of taking him to the doctor and MRIs and x-rays. Next stop will be orthopedist because we fear that stings have exacerbated damage that we have ignored for many years.
As we were coming to terms with all of that, we were also awaiting the birth of the grandson. Babygirl came home for her 20th birthday, and we took her out for a family dinner. Shenanigans came too and she broke the news that she had been having contractions for the past 24 hours. We were so excited. Son1 had even been running errands and doing his soccer coaching with her emergency bag in the back of his car! Two days after dinner, we got a call that she was at the hospital.
Oh the excitement!! It was 6:30am. I rushed to shower and change. Hubs rushed to get a job started so that he could be available when it was time for us to go to the hospital. The phone rang at 11. The doctor was sending Shenanigans home because she wasn’t quite done baking. The adrenaline crash was maddening.
The following days were spent making sure that the house was clean, that laundry was done and meals were ready in anticipation of a sudden day spent with Son1. Doctor visits occurred on Tuesday and Thursday and still, the doctor said she wasn’t ready. Thursday’s appointment even included pre-op forms to prepare for inducing labor on Halloween.
I was sitting home on Friday, relaxing with a book and a cup of coffee. It was cooling off and the weathermen were calling for snow–IN OCTOBER! What a rare occurrence! The phone rang at 3, dragging me from the book. Son1 was heading to the hospital straight from work. Shenanigans had gone to the hospital at noon and didn’t call anyone until she had made sure that it was time. This time, her water had broken and things were starting to progress. I called Hubs, texted Babygirl and Son2 and by 5, I was headed to the hospital.
Son kept us informed. “She’s getting an epidural now.” “It’s progressing nicely” “Can you pick up Jazzy?”
Jazzy had been in school when her mom left the house. She was with her Pop-Pop and was waiting for word about her new brother. We raced to get her through the rain which had started, past our own home, to Son1’s house. She jumped into the car, and told us how excited she was. And then I got a text.
We made our way back to the nursery and signed in. We were ushered to a room where we found my son, cradling his own son in his arms. He looked at me and tears began streaming down his cheeks. “He’s beautiful Mommy! Jazzy, come see your brother!”
This is Logan Gibson Hutton. He is only one hour old.
I beheld a perfect little boy, his eyes wide and alert. His head turned to follow my son’s voice as he moved around the room. Shenanigans was glowing, even in her discomfort and exhaustion. The love in the room was almost overwhelming.
With a great effort, we dragged ourselves away to leave the little family to bond together. Snow had begun in earnest and it would continue for the next ten hours. We went to dinner to celebrate and have a few drinks.
As we sat at the bar, one of our favorite bartenders came over and said “I haven’t seen you guys in a while. What’s new?” And then it happened…….
I became that grandmother…..
“Let me show you a picture of my new grandson…..”
Now I need a bumper sticker and a shirt that states “Ask me about my grandkid.”
Oh Lord, SAVE ME FROM MYSELF!!!!