I hope you all had a good Mother’s Day Weekend. The highlight of my weekend was taking our daughter to the zoo on Saturday. We last took her on her first birthday and now she is a week shy of her 18 month birthday. It’s one way to really notice the many ways she’s changed in the past 6 months. While she was delighted by the zoo animals on her first birthday, she was much more excited this time. She was enthralled with the seals as they splashed and played in the water and she worked so hard to say “seal” – she got as close as “SSS” “SSSS.”
It’s amazing how kids learn language and start to put the words together. And which words and letters trip them up.
I still stand by Friday’s posting about how Mother’s Day is for the birds (except the part about the gifts, flowers and cards). Much of yesterday was spent trekking from one location to the next to see every family member and eat more food. Good times.
But one thing really struck me yesterday. It was the Modern Love column in the NYT. Did you read it?
If you didn’t read it, then I insist that you go read it immediately.
I was enthralled with this piece. And it really got me to thinking what I would have done in this situation.
SPOILER ALERT – if you haven’t read the piece, then go read it and then come back to the rest of my entry. If you have read it, continue on.
So, after I read it, fought back some tears, and thought about it a while, I then forced it on my mom. I kept interrupting her “where are you in the piece? what’s happening now?”
It felt like it took her an eternity to read.
But I had to know. What would she do in that situation? Because I didn’t know what I would do but I just couldn’t imagine leaving the baby behind. Despite all the problems the baby was going to face, I just wasn’t sure how you could face yourself every day and how you could get through each day without knowing what had happened to the baby. And what might have happened if you’d brought her home.
On the flip side, I wouldn’t have judged the author if she and her husband decided to leave the baby behind. I mean – what a difficult and heart breaking situation.
Finally my mom was done. And I asked her. I said “what would you have done if it had been you?”
She had a smile on her face and she said, without even thinking twice, “I would have told the adoption agency lady to give me another one. I would have told her that I’d take the sick baby but they misled me, so I’ll take another baby too. Two for the price of one.”
I was floored.
What sheer brilliance. Two babies!
One presumably healthy and one presumably sick.
Not only did her response show just how much my mom loves babies and just how much my mom loves being a mom. It showed me something else.
It showed the beauty of grandparents.
Lord knows I’ve griped about grandparents and opinions and interference on KT plenty. But the thing about grandparents is this – they have the perspective those of us who are just a few years into this – we don’t have yet.
They know that the crying ends, the waking up through the night technically ends, the temper tantrums become few and far between and at the end of the day, children bring more joy than anything. Grandparents know this.
Those of us lost thick in the weeds, trying to figure our way through sleepless nights and crazy toddler tantrums, we can easily forget this.
So of course my mom wanted two.
Meanwhile my mind was all tied up with “What if the sick baby was always sick and what if she died and what if we couldn’t afford all the medical care.” And on and on and on. Like the uptight newbie parent that I am.
We all need a Grandparent around us, like it or not.