Lots of Rainbows

Sunday was an awesome day from dawn to dusk and then some. I never need a reminder of how special my mother was, and yet since it was Mother’s Day, the day was filled with memories of her words, actions, looks, advice, laughter, personality…and well, you get the picture. I had to give a talk in church, and the topic was how a mother can influence her children to live the teachings of the gospel. While the talk including some Biblical women whose lives demonstrated faith, love, courage, kindness, and hard work. I just had to let everyone know that my mother had all those sterling qualities in one 115 pound package.

Here’s the quote: “Like Rachel, she was beautiful, and like Leah, she was hardworking, dependable, and faithful. Like Hannah, she was grateful for all of her blessings, and like Mary and Martha, she kept a good balance between her spiritual and her work-a-day life. And then, like Dorcas, my mother was mourned by her friends after her death.”

By the way, I lifted that right out of my new book, Eve’s Sisters. I’d like to think that my mother would have been pleased to hear such sincere praise, but then again, she might have been embarrassed at the extra attention.

Later in the day, I headed to the coast and stopped in Conway for a visit with my daughter Elizabeth. She’s the only one of my three children I got to lay eyes on (in person) that day. I had some face time on my iPhone with the other two AND with my seven grandchildren. (The fact that I had to use my iPhone instead of my computer was the first indication that I was going to have connectivity issues.)

Elizabeth treated me to a delicious Mexican dinner and presented me with some lovely treasures, including a bag with the peace symbol on the front. Then we communicated with Paul and Amanda and their two precious children using my phone and their iPad. Olivia spent much of our time “together” spinning around in circles. Then she proceeded to be Mama’s little helper by feeding her baby brother a little bit of milk. Amanda describes Ethan as a “chill baby,” and he certainly demonstrated that trait last night! Although he couldn’t have been getting much nourishment, he patiently endured his sister’s efforts without a whimper.

Ah then, we repeated the same communication via phones and iPads with my daughter Carrie and her five children in Rincon,GA. It was thrilling to see Braden looking so tall and acting so grown up. He’ll be 9 in two weeks. The girls told me all about their muffin and doughnut sale of the day before. Brooke raised $52 from the customers, and then Emma gave her $7 of her hard earned money for her old bike so now they both have wheels. Colton told me that his favorite muffins tasted blue, and Seth just stared at the screen looking like an angel baby.

Time to bring this to a close. I’m sitting in an internet café because I can’t get connection with my tiny MiFi or the hotspot feature on my iPhone. Doesn’t that seem a little weird? Why am I paying so much money every month for a service that I can’t use??? It’d be easy to get angry, and yet I find myself remembering a song that Brooke sang to me Sunday evening, the same one that I heard the Primary children sing earlier that day. I didn’t memorize it, but it goes soemthing like, “I love to look for rainbows whenever there is rain.” I have lots of rainbows in my life and am focusing on them. Thanks for the reminder, Miss Brookie!

I Can Do This

I have little Brooke on my mind this morning. It’s amazing what you can learn from a 6-year-old.

In need of a grandchildren “fix,” I recently drove to Rincon, GA to see one of my daughters and her family. Since their parents couldn’t seem to get much house and yard work done with the four older children around, I volunteered to take them to Dairy Queen for lunch and to the local park for fun. Energetically, they ran from one end of the park to the other and from one piece of equipment to the next before congregating around the monkey bars.

Brooke stood on the platform, poised and ready to reach out for the monkey bars. Her little face was a portrait of concentration. Twice already, she had attempted to cross over from the small platform to the one on the other side, and twice she had struggled right in the middle.

Then a little girl, a stranger, came along. Without appearing to even think about it, Vanessa reached out her right arm, grabbed the first bar, and continued all the way across until she landed safely on the other side. Brooke and I both watched her and noticed that she had a certain swing in her maneuvers. Rather than just reaching for one bar and then the next, Vanessa turned her little body from side to side, motions that seemed to propel her forward. She made it appear effortless.

Soon tiring of the monkey bars, Vanessa scampered away to find other equipment to play on, and Brooke once again ascended to the platform.  Standing at the ready, she said, “I can do this.” I couldn’t help but smile, loving her determination and confidence. Again, “I can do this,” this time a little more assured. “That’s my girl,” I said. “You can do it.”

After reciting “I can do this, “ once more, Brooke grabbed the first bar, and imitating Vanessa’s swing approach, she quickly reached the other side. Almost giddy with the sense of accomplishment, she tried it again. After watching her older sister have several successful attempts, Emma clamored up on the platform. I got a little tickled as I heard her say, “I can do this.” Her face scrunched up with determination, she repeated the phrase another two times just like her older sister had done. Since Emma is  younger, shorter, and not quite as coordinated as Brooke, I wasn’t quite as certain of her success. Truthfully, her little arms couldn’t even reach the first bar. She was so resolute, however, that I knew I had to help her to succeed.

“Want me to hold you up?” I asked.

“No. Just put me close enough to the first one so I can grab it,” she said. “But don’t hold on to me.”

“Want me to stay close?” I asked, knowing that if I weren’t right there, she’d likely fall to the ground below.

“Uh-huh. And put your hands beside me, but not on me until I tell you to,” she demanded.

I followed Emma’s instructions, and although I pretty much participated 50/50 in the short distance between the two platforms, she did it!

Hands down, my favorite psychological term is elf-efficacy, the belief a person has in her ability to accomplish something. This belief is reportedly more important than a person’s actual ability. If Brooke had had low perceived self-efficacy, she wouldn’t have made it across from one platform to the next despite her physical ability. While I’m on the subject of lessons, Brooke also demonstrated the power of a good example. Because of her determination and success, little Emma gave it a shot. Hmmm. And Emma taught a lesson too: people need support. People need others close enough to catch them if they fall but not too close.

 The more I think about that afternoon in the park, a half a dozen situations and their inherent lessons spring to mind. I’ll save them for another day, however. Today, thanks to my granddaughters, I’m working on my self-efficacy.

Lesson from Mama

 

The house is quiet tonight, almost too quiet. All of the Christmas company has gone home, the tree has been taken down, and the fireworks commemorating the new year are going off all around my house. As I reflect on yet another holiday season coming to a close, I’m reminded of another lesson I learned from my mother. Christmas isn’t just one day. Well, it is and it isn’t. What she meant is that Christmas is a season and a feeling and that it doesn’t have to be confined to one 24-hour period. When we spend so much time, money, energy, and thought into making the day one of unimaginable splendor and beauty, we sometimes miss the meaning and the magic.

So that’s got me thinking of when I first realized, “Oh, it’s here again!” Was it when I first saw the Salvation Army people collecting money at Wal-Mart? Or was it when I turned in the last grade for the semester? No, maybe it was the day after that when I attended a luncheon at our local CCTC satellite campus. Or no, I think it was actually when I arrived in NYC with three like-minded gals for a day of sightseeing and shopping in the Big Apple. If there’s anyone on earth who can see the Macy’s store windows and the huge “Believe” sign on the front of the block-sized department store and not feel the spirit, that person has some psychological issues.

I did a lot of fun things this season (including the above mentioned trip to Manhattan!), but when it comes right down to it, my most precious recollections have to do with people, the people I love…and some who are strangers too. In no particular order, here are a few sweet memories.

  • Seeing the Salvation Army men dancing dancing dancing in NYC. In front of Macy’s and at Rockefeller Center, these spirited men were entertaining the crowds and raising money for a good cause.
  • Seeing Santa sitting on a bench near Rockefeller Center. Jolly old Saint Nick happily posed for a picture with Kayla, the youngest of our group.
  • My husband’s children and their partners and children joining us on the afternoon of the 17th for food and fellowship. We were especially happy that Kacey could join us this year. And all of remarked on how much difference a year could make. Baby Charlie was walking all over the place, and last year he couldn’t even crawl yet.
  • Earlier that day, we had a Christmas get-together with all of my husband’s siblings and their families. When he and I first got married, these events were held in a home, but now that the family has grown so much, we’ve moved the party to a local church. Santa came. He was jolly and patient, but he couldn’t fool Whitney. “He’s not the real Santa,” she confided in me. “I could see the strap holding his beard.”
  • The night of the 22nd when I saw three of my grandchildren’s faces pressed up against window of the breezeway door. I flung open the door, hugged them tight, and then saw another sight for sore eyes: their other two siblings and their parents.
  • That same night around 11:15 when I heard a tentative “Mom?” It was my son Paul who had stopped over to spend the night on his way to Myrtle Beach where his wife and daughter were waiting.
  • Later that night seeing Paul and Carrie’s heads together as they discussed the merits of various laptops.
  • Watching and listening as the kids opened their gifts on the night of the 23rd. Need I say more about this? Everyone who’s been a child or been around a child can imagine this scenario.
  • The Christmas Eve brunch. I loved having my sibs(two of them) and their families, my Aunt Polly, my cousin Sue & her family, and of course my children here for a fun gathering. Thanks to help from my beautiful daughter Elizabeth, everything came together. We even played Christmas bingo…loved watching Brooke help her father play the game.
  • Following through with a Christmas Eve tradition of seeing a movie; this year it was Sherlock Holmes.
  • Sitting between Otis and Elizabeth in church on Christmas morning as we listened to the messages and the soul-stirring music.
  • Christmas day lunch at my mother-in-law’s house. After all of the feasting we’d been experiencing, we decided on a light menu, subs and cake. Loved that!
  • Monday brunch at Elizabeth’s home in Conway. More yummy food!
  • Having Olivia, Amanda, Paul, and Elizabeth come for a visit in Myrtle Beach and watching Olivia push her new pink grocery cart all over the house. She was wearing her black boots and chatting away. Later we went to Nacho Hippo for a farewell dinner.
  • Shopping for after Christmas deals with Elizabeth the next day. We love Target!
  • Naturally, I couldn’t include everything in the above. Who would want to read all of it anyway?

For some brief, shining moments, we were all together enjoying one another’s presence and remembering Christmases past. On Christmas Eve, I shared a toast with all who were present, and although you weren’t there, you’d like the toast. It was based on the end of a movie, Places in the Heart. My friend Martha had declared its ending to be the best of all movie endings so I had to rent it.

The scene takes inside of a church, and all the pews are populated not only by people who live in the small town but also by those who have “moved on,” either by death or change of location. They’re all partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and although there has been a lot of heartache and pain in the movie, in that final scene, everyone is there…everyone.

What I took from the church scene is that love is the most important and powerful force in the universe and that people who’ve once been a part of your life will always be there with you. You might not be able to see them, but they’re there. Oh and P.S., my mother was right. Christmas is more than a day.

Grits and Ice Cream

I’ve been slack in the blog department lately. I haven’t been slack in writing, just in blogging. Now that the manuscript of my book is complete, I’ve been working on the not-so-fun stuff like getting all of the front matter components ready for submission, copy editing, proofreading, and learning about the Chicago style of source citation. Before I go any further with this, let me say a word or two about the book. It’s something I’m self-publishing with Inspiring Voices, a house associated with Guideposts. Does it bother me to go this route, the self-publishing one? Not at all. Sure, I’d prefer to have a contract with a major publisher, but well, that’s a subject for another day.

This morning I’m postponing my editing and jotting a few things down so that I won’t forget some thoughts and impressions of the weekend. If you’re interested in some ramblings of a regular person describing some specific events and revelations, read on. If not, then feel free to skip forward to the next blog. However, I can pretty much guarantee that something in here will strike a responsive chord if you stick with me.

Friday was what my husband described as a good day. He’s right. We got to do and see several things that wouldn’t have been possible had we been living in another country, say Libya, or if we’d made different choices in our younger years. For instance, if we had dropped out of college and taken a different career path, we’d probably have to work on and on and on and not had the freedom to have a play day on Friday. Our son-in-law Kacey remarked that he’d sure like to have a Friday off to do what he wanted to, and I glibly replied that if he worked another thirty years, then he could. Choices, choices, choices.

Before we saw Kacey, we had already visited Whitney’s school for Grits for Grandparents. It was a delightful experience. Not only was the breakfast tasty, but the ambience was energizing and fun too. Loved the ice crystals in the orange juice. Kids were laughing, holding their grandparents’ hands, and gaily greeting each other. I haven’t been in a school cafeteria in a couple of decades, and this one was especially nice.

Scenes of the Lugoff community were painted in murals all around the room, and we particularly liked the one of the old Pecan Station, a landmark that stood for years in the fork of two main highways leaving Lugoff for Columbia. Whitney’s favorite painting is of the bridge between Camden and Lugoff, and she took me over to get a closer look. Giggling, she pointed out the tiny mouse sitting in a float, chilling on the river.

We chatted with several children and adults while in the school, and every conversation, sight, and sound told me that while there might be some things we could improve in public education, there is also some excellent stuff going on. For instance, Aunt Brenda who works at the school, reminded us that it would soon be time for art, thus stressing the need for structure and schedules. There were people everywhere, big ones and little ones, and it was fascinating to watch the interaction between them. Being in school prepares children for what’s ahead in life, whether work or community service or being a stay-at-home-mother. A person has to learn how to interact with others.

Moving along, we then visited with Kacey at his restaurant and were amazed and impressed with the changes he’s making. With an hour before we were due at Sallie’s school for ice cream, we stopped by Lauren’s to see Baby Charlie. Lauren was volunteering at Hannah’s school that morning, and I thought of how marvelous it would be if more mothers could and would spend a few hours per week at their children’s school(s). Not only would it send a clear message to the children that education is important, but it would also help the teachers.

Jumping in the truck, we then headed to Sallie’s school in Blythewood for an ice cream party arranged for grandparents. Sallie seemed genuinely glad to see us, but as soon as she’d eaten her chocolate ice cream, she was eager to get up and run and play with her friends. It was delightful to watch all of the children run and play with such energy and joie-de-vivre.

Leaving Blythewood, we ran errands and then went to see The Debt. Two of six people in the theatre, we couldn’t help but note the merits of coming to an earlier show. We could sit where we wanted to, and it didn’t cost as much. Munching on popcorn, we sat back and enjoyed the show. “Enjoyed” might not be the exact word I’m looking for here. While it was riveting and suspenseful, it was also unsettling at times, and I still feel a little tightness in my chest when remembering the train station scene.  Helen Mirren was excellent; so were the rest of the cast.

Saturday was spent “homecaring,” writing, walking (training for OBX half marathon in November), shopping, and attending a birthday party for a two-year-old. His grandmother had invited me, and I rarely turn down a opportunity to celebrate, especially when cake and ice cream are involved. Luckily for me, there were some “sisters” there, and we chatted about girl stuff. Little Jacob’s sweet mama is in Charleston receiving chemo this morning, and my thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.

Sunday was great. Before, during, and after church, I picked up a lot of food for thought. For instance, I began the day by rereading some of C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and was enlightened on why men should be the heads of families. It has to do with emotions and is too involved to go into this morning.  Although I was at first inclined to differ, I could soon see Lewis’s point. More on this later!

At church, what I primarily thought about was the importance of families. Neither years nor distance can completely separate us; we’re connected. For some reason, I felt especially near to my parents yesterday. It was almost as if their spirits were close-by. (If my sister reads this, she’ll declare that I’ve gone bonkers so let’s keep it between us).

After a pizza and salad lunch with DH, I worked on a photo journal book that I’d purchased from Living Social (great deal), read, and walked. Later we watched a Madea movie, and in-between the laughter, I kept thinking that it’d be so cool to have someone like her in charge of kids today. We both loved the part when she slapped the smart-mouthed, disrespectful child not once, not twice, but several times. He never had a problem saying, “Yes Ma’am” after that. It’s not that we advocate harsh physical discipline. It’s that we think children should respect their elders, mind their manners, and do what they’re told. If they don’t, they’ll have a tough row to hoe in the working world.

So yes, it was a nice weekend. I was reminded of the value of attending school and of the terrific job the teachers and staff members are doing. I got to visit schools, attend a birthday party, glean some gems from reading, rub shoulders with some of my favorite folks at church, create a photo journal about the beach, and view a couple of really good flicks. I also got to talk to Izzy and see Michelle’s pink sparkly shoes, things that wouldn’t have happened if I’d stayed home from church. And lest I forget, I got to walk under a full moon and while talking to my daughter and one of my brothers on the phone. It’s all good.

Hey Grandmama!

After eating our kids’ meals, we all got Dilly Bars, and at the children’s request, we toasted each other with them. “Here’s to summertime!” everyone exclaimed. Then, “Here’s to families!” Indeed. Here’s to families! Whether departed, separated, present, or distant, they’re awesome.

Nothing deep or ponderous today. Just a few recollections of the days I spent with Carrie and her family last week. As mentioned in a previous post, my daughter gave birth to Seth Michael a couple of weeks ago, and I went down to help her out with her other four children.  They range in age from 2 to 8, and they’re pretty typical children. By that, I mean that they’re active, inquisitive, busy, noisy, demanding (when’s lunch???), demonstrative (I got lots of hugs and kisses), entertaining, and distracting.

When I look back over the days and nights there, everything sort of melds together into one long day. So what I’m going to do is hit the highlights. Since Rich, my son-in-law, was off on Saturday, I seized that opportunity to go to the library to do some work. Anyone who’s ever tried to do any serious reading and grading knows it can’t be done (at least not well) in a noisy environment, especially if little people are crawling on you and trying to play with your computer.

Hence, off to the library I went. Two hours quickly passed, and I gathered up my “stuff” and headed to the car. It was so hot!!!  While hustling to the car trying to get out of the heat, I heard a precious voice say, “Hey Grandmother!” I looked up and there was blond haired Emma running towards me from the park. She and her dad were on a daddy/daughter date, and her request had been to have lunch in the park. Though he was HOT and miserable, Rich had agreed to her plan, and when I drove off, the two of them were sitting side by side, Rich listening away as she prattled on about something.

Sunday was an interesting day, nice and memorable but kind of slow. It rained, and that kept us all inside. The girls dressed up in my Sunday clothes, experimented with lip gloss, and posed for pictures. Braden drew and colored, and Colton, well Colton basically was his usual adorable little self. I love to hear him say, “I take nap.” Yes yes yes yes yes.  Later in the day, I put on my Susie Homemaker apron and made some snicker doodles, and they were a big hit. For dinner that night, we had bagel bites and cookies. Sounds good to me!

Every single night I was there, Emma would burst through the door at some point in the early morning hours and join me in the single bed in Seth’s room. It was a tight squeeze, but I couldn’t refuse the little imp.  On the last night of my visit, Brooke joined us. That was the evening/early morning when I gave up on the idea of sleep. I sat in the rocking chair and read my Kindle while watching the little princesses sleep.

Speaking of nighttime, I love the fact that 8-year-old Braden likes to read before going to sleep. Anytime to read is fine, of course, but there’s just something special about losing yourself in a good book before dozing off. Braden uses a flashlight; I use a book light.

Carrie’s birthday was Tuesday the 2nd, and one of her friends made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. As a birthday gift to Carrie, Cindy offered to keep the four older children so that Carrie, Seth, and I could go to Savannah for lunch and a tiny bit of shopping. We dined at the Olive Garden, her favorite restaurant, and although the air conditioning was on the fritz that day, we enjoyed our Italian cuisine and mother/daughter conversation. Seth is an angel baby so far and allowed his mother to eat without so much as a whimper. Our shopping consisted of Carrie going to Publix while I sat in the car with the sleeping baby. 

On the evening before I left to come home, Carrie and Rich went out to celebrate her birthday and left me with all five children! We all survived. Later we had cake and ice cream, and Carrie opened her gifts. I can’t wait to see her wearing the beautiful jewelry from Braden and Colton. I know that Germ-X from the girls will come in handy too.

If you’re still reading this account, you’re either a family member or a true friend. Interestingly, the more I write the more I remember. I won’t go into it all, however. I’ll just briefly describe our visit to Dairy Queen on my last day with the Masedas. It was wild and crazy and wonderful. After eating our kids’ meals, we all got Dilly Bars, and at the children’s request, we toasted each other with them. “Here’s to summertime!” everyone exclaimed. Then, “Here’s to families!”

Indeed. Here’s to families! Whether departed, separated, present, or distant, they’re awesome.

Making a Place

Today’s my last day of full-time employment with the state of South Carolina. It’s been a grand ride. I’ve met literally thousands of people who have enriched my life in the most amazing ways. I’ve had the opportunity time after time after time to feel the magic in a classroom, that moment when a student “gets it,” when he connects the dots and sees how the concepts actually apply to his life.

I’ve heard it said many times that if you want something to happen in your life, something new or exciting, you have to make a place for it. I think that “place” (I hope my friend Joey will overlook those quotation marks if they’re used incorrectly) could refer to both physical and psychological space. It could even mean time and energy.

That said, today is a most exciting day. It’s the last day of full-time employment with the state of South Carolina. It’s been a grand ride. I’ve met literally thousands of people who have enriched my life in the most amazing ways. I’ve had the opportunity time after time after time to feel the magic in a classroom, that moment when a student “gets it,” when he connects the dots and sees how the concepts actually apply to his life. Then there were the moments of laughter and pure unadulterated fun. Yes, that’s allowed in a classroom, at least in mine.

I’m not going to walk down Memory Lane this afternoon. I’ll save that stroll for another day. Today I just want to emphasize that it’s time for a new chapter to begin, and the only way for me to get there is to make some room. Hence, I’m freeing up some time to pursue other interests and explore different opportunities.

Yes, I’ll miss my work buds. I’ll miss my little office too. What I won’t miss is leaving home every single workday at 7:00 a.m. to drive to Sumter or Bishopville for an early morning class. Nor will I miss those night classes. Like Oprah said in her farewell show, “Been there, done that.” My husband and I have plans for Monday morning. We’re going to have breakfast at the local Huddle House, and I plan to sit by the front window so that I can have a good view of all the working stiffs racing by on their way to schools, banks, hospitals, and offices. 

Then I’m coming home to read, write, walk, and put some of my dreams into action. I might even take a real estate course. Yes, I know it’s not a good time to do that. I don’t care about getting rich; I just like looking at houses, and I think I might be pretty good at matching people with just the right home. I might help my sister-in-law Karen in her new business, and she won’t even have to pay me! I’m going to spend more time with my children and grandchildren. Atlanta, Conway, and Rincon (alphabetical order), here I come!

 We’re also going to do some traveling, and Otis has begun a travel fund for us. Alaska is first on our list. Maybe this fall we’ll go on a road trip to New England just to see the leaves. Why not? I’m making a space for it. Some of my friends and I love NYC, and I’ve started a little fund for that too. On my next trip, I’m going to see/hear the Brooklyn Gospel Choir. I’d also like to see where Abraham Maslow grew up. And I never tire of visiting Ellis Island, the MoMA, or the Museum of Natural History.

Between all the goings-on, I’m making a space for writing. I’m having a couple of pieces published in the next few months, and I have a half a dozen books on the back burner. I can’t get to any of those projects, however, unless I make a space for them. That’s why today is my last day.

Okay, let’s back up. It’s my last day of full-time employment, not the last day of employment period. When classes start again in a couple of weeks, I’ll be teaching a couple for CCTC and one for HGTC (online).  I’m excited about that and have already been collecting material. For instance, I just learned that obesity is the second cause of premature preventable death in America. Smoking is number one.  Can’t wait to share that with my Human Growth and Development classes.

In the meantime, my husband just stomped upstairs where I’m working and told me that I needed to make some space to walk around up here. All the office “stuff” is scattered about and is driving him crazy.

A Bride and a Baby

It’s funny how life goes along in a somewhat predictable way, and then BOOM, a whirlwind comes along and turns everything upside down. Knowing that not everyone in the world is interested in the goings-on in my family and yet wantingwith those who care, I’m going to hit some high points.


It’s been a busy, eventful, fun, exhausting couple of weeks. It’s funny how life goes along in a somewhat predictable way, and then BOOM, a whirlwind comes along and turns everything upside down. Knowing that not everyone in the world is interested in the goings-on in my family and yet wanting to share with those who care, I’m going to hit some high points.

First, there’s Jenny, a.k.a. Mrs. Kacey Carbery. She and Kacey tied the knot on the 15th of July after a busy few days of events. Actually, for Jenny, it had been a busy few months, but for the rest of us, many of the parties and celebrations occurred in July. They’re a much-loved couple, and their friends and family went all out to prove it. Because of their marriage, I met some truly interesting and delightful people, and I hope our paths cross again. In fact, we’ve been invited to spend a couple of days in Victoria, Canada next year on our way to Alaska.

Then one day last week, I started cleaning out my office. It’s too daunting a task to tackle in one day so I’ll be traveling to Sumter again soon to take the rest of the pictures off the walls and the books off the shelves. A friend asked me if it was hard, and I had to admit, “Not really.” My attitude is that I’ve had an office for a long, long time, and now it’s time to move on to whatever’s next. Luckily for me, we have a little room above the garage where I can read and write. It even has a skylight so that I can watch the changing sky.

Then my grandson Seth was born. What a precious baby! My former husband and Elizabeth and I spent last Wednesday in the hospital with Rich and Carrie, Seth’s parents, as we waited for his arrival. After the doctors determined that a C-section wouldn’t be necessary after all, we then had to bide our time until Mother Nature took her course. We walked, talked, snacked, dozed, read, and waited. And then we waited some more.

Finally, the moment arrived when it looked like the birth was imminent, and the doctor shooed us out of the room. A moment later, the door cracked open a little as Rich peeped out and asked if I’d like to come inside. I was so excited!!! I’d never witnessed a birth before and had been saying that all day in the hopes that the parents would take the hint. Having that experience was awesome and  unforgettable.            

As the nurses were cleaning the sweet newborn and putting silver nitrate in his eyes, I stood beside him and talked to him in my most soothing voice. Then the funniest and most marvelous thing happened. He opened first one eye and then the other and looked straight at me. I LOVE thinking that I’m the first person he saw and that perhaps the sound of my voice comforted him somewhat during his first scary moments of earth life. Soon Elizabeth and Frankie rejoined us in the room, and everyone got a turn holding the precious little fellow.

Elizabeth and I then went to Rincon, GA where my daughter Carrie lives and began caring for her other four children. They range in age from 2 to 8, and they kept their grandmother and their aunt busy and “engaged,” a word I’ve heard a lot over the last few days. I could go on and on and on about our special time together, but I’ll save that for another day. I just have to mention, however, that I love how Emma used a wet washcloth to subdue her blond curls so that she could make a good first impression on her new brother. She also took a pink purse to the hospital like a big girl.

That was last week. Now I’m back at home trying to finish the semester, and I’ll go back to Rincon later this week to help Carrie as her household adjusts to its newest member. Until then, end-of-the-term journals and assignments are calling my name. And then there’s the office thing. I wonder if Holly, the director of security, will make me turn in my key.