My life’s odyssey doesn’t seem to be a straight line to bliss, that’s for sure.
The oven situation was NOT the easy fix I’d hoped for. It’s going to take a whole new electronic panel which’ll take several days to get here.
On the glass half full side, the technician helped me purchase the part online, saving about $100, so I appreciated his honesty. He didn’t charge for today’s visit and diagnosis, and the cost for his labor is reasonable.
As I bemoaned the horrible timing, he suggested I purchase a toaster oven. I had meant to do that a long time ago and forgot, so this was a great solution to my dilemma. I ran out and got one that day AND it was on sale, a fact that makes this Grandma very happy.
If every cloud really has a silver lining, mine is now pure gold with diamond sparkles. Charlotte’s new behavior is to run at me from across the room, jump in my arms, wrap herself around me and say, “Charlotte hug and kiss Grandma!” Over and over again. That two-year-old with the titian hair and her curly big brother expressing their affectionate and exuberant joie de vivre wipe away any and all angst about the oven.
Just now from Theo at 5:26 a.m., “Wake up, Princess Rosebud!” Right behind him from Char at 5:27 a.m.,”Grandma, where’s apple pie?”
It might be a day late, but they WILL have their apple pie!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared conversational gold from Angel Boy 2.0.
He’s now reached five whole years around the sun; 1825 days.
When we were chatting about Daddy’s 40th birthday, he wanted to tell me something but it was too overwhelming for him to share, so he asked mom to tell me,
“YOU tell her.”
Sweet child. When he woke up that morning extra EARLY, he ran into mom and dad’s room and asked if it was too early to go down to the Grandma room and wake me up.
Mom said, “But Grandma’s not here, T.”
He was quite distraught.
Apparently he had been dreaming about seeing me and his dream was detailed and VERY REAL.
Emphatically, he said, “But you told me she would be here when I woke up!”
Like all lucid dreams, it takes a minute or two to separate what is real from what is speaking to us from our subconscious, even more difficult when you’re a little one.
For children, dreams can feel incredibly real. It’s a challenge for them to distinguish between what’s imagined and things that actually happened. Even if they can understand that the content of a dream was imaginary, the emotions felt during a dream are all very real.
“It was a dream, T, and sometimes a dream can seem very real.”
“What do you mean she’s not here! You TOLD ME!“
And then he ran downstairs to check and sure enough, the Grandma room was still Daddy’s home office.
He was genuinely sad to learn it was just a dream and I wasn’t there.
I’m sad, too, but our bonds of love are very strong and that makes me the luckiest Grandma in the world.
“Grandma, you should have seen this. Daddy catapulted himself from the cushion onto the sofa.”
“T, what was that big word?”
“Daddy CATAPULTED. You would not believe it.”
“I hope Daddy is OK! T, that is such a wonderful word, very descriptive, and I’m so proud of you for knowing it and for using it correctly in your sentence!”
“Now. Look. Feast your eyes on this, Grandma. It’s a new bench for the kitchen table. It’s nice, huh, Grandma?”
“Oh wait right here. I’m going to put you down and you can watch Mommy make dinner for a minute. I’m going into the Grandma room. I want to show you the present I have for you in our special drawer. It’s a surprise. It’s sparkly just like you like and it’s shiny.”
“Well, hold on. Let’s think about this. If it’s a surprise, do you want to wait until I’m there before you show me?”
“No, ‘cos you’ll forget by then.”
“But what if I don’t forget? What if I remember?”
“Oh, don’t worry little Grandma, you’ll forget.”
“Wow, it IS sparkly and shiny, you’re right about that!”
(It’s a Christmas tree decoration from last year, a shiny little silvery disco ball.)
“Don’t forget to put it back in the drawer so you can show me again.”
“And Grandma, don’t forget to bring me a surprise for the drawer too, OK? I’ll be at the airport to pick you up.”
“Do I EVER forget?”
(The answer is obvious. I never forget.)
As a side note, when he was out of the kitchen getting my present, I asked, “He seems to think my visit is imminent. What have you told him?”
“Don’t worry, imminent means something different to T. He doesn’t really have a good grasp of time.”
This is the sad plight of grandparent’s new reality…not to be able to hug and play with our angel boys and girls, and to miss the excitement of Daddy catapulting himself around the house.
Still, there’s always always something to be grateful for, right?
That story is now; we need to go back in time to a week ago before it’s Grandma to the rescue.
It’s all a bit convoluted, but I’m accurately depicting the chain of events. I hope you can follow along and it’s not too confusing.
Contained in the box of gifts for his half birthday was a little ball from the dollar store that caught my eye because it was soft and squishy and was an actual face of a tiger, not simply a cartoon rendering.
He has lovely eyes and an endearing quality, don’t you agree?
When T FaceTimed me as he was opening the box, Dad set the phone down so I could watch him and we could chat about all the items. As soon as he picked up the ball, he fell instantly in love. He gave it a hug and stroked his cheek with it, which is the sign for mother (although he’s not aware of that).
He immediately said, “Grandma, I love love love this tiger. Do you know what I’m going to name him? I’m going to name him Tiger.”
I said, “It makes me happy that you love him, I thought you might, and Tiger is a perfect name!”
He gave Tiger another hug.
I said, “Hey T, how about whenever you hug Tiger, that will be exactly like a hug from me. It’s Grandma hugging you all the time. What do you think about that?”
“Every single time you hug Tiger, it’s ME hugging you back.”
And then he started kissing it. So yes, my heart overflowed again and broke at the same time because it’s still not safe to travel to give him real Grandma hugs.
Later on, Mom texted me that Tiger had become his new “favorite” and he wouldn’t go anywhere without him and slept next to him on the pillow.
So the backstory is simple. T really really bonded with Tiger and he was the object representation of my unconditional LOVE.
Now you’re all caught up, right?
Yesterday in the late afternoon, my phone rang and this is how FaceTime started.
No “Hello”, just “Grandma, I got to tell you. It’s bad, real bad. Something bad happened.”
“Hello, my T.”
“Oh yeah, hello Grandma, you aren’t gonna like this.”
Now if you’re wondering why I was so calm (which I was) it’s because I know beyond any shadow of any doubt that if something really catastrophic had occurred, I would have heard about it from mom or dad, and they wouldn’t have allowed a four-year-old to become the messenger of something terrible that had befallen one of them.
Anyway, my Grandma-spidey-sense kicked in and I could pretty much figure out what constituted a crisis in his lovely little life.
“What happened, tell me!”
“OK. Listen. but I have to show you. You aren’t gonna like it. I’m gonna flip.”
When he flips the camera to show me what’s in his hand, my crystal ball vision was confirmed.
There was damage to the tiger ball. One ear had been slightly chewed off.
“Oh my. Poor Tiger. How did that happen?”
“Well, Grandma, Charlotte used those two little teeth of hers to tear off his ear. Can you believe it?”
“I hope she didn’t eat it, did she?”
“No. I was being kind and shared it with her for just a minute and she damaged him.”
“T, that is pretty sad for Tiger, I agree. I understand you are sad about it. How about if you put it up on a high shelf so that Char can’t get to it and I’ll fix him the next time I’m there. You know how good I am at fixing things, right?”
“OK Grandma, I will. I know exactly where to put him.”
“Now let me see your beautiful face for a minute.”
“There we go. That’s good.”
“I’m going to flip MY camera because I want to show you a surprise I have for you.”
I walked into his bedroom.
“Look, T. What do you see?”
“Yes, way. As soon as I saw how much you loved Tiger, I went back to the store and got another tiger, just in case something happened to him. And the balls were all so cute, I got a kitty cat and a sloth, too. See?”
“DADDY YOU HAVE TO COME HERE AND SEE WHAT GRANDMA HAS.YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT. HURRY AND SEE!!”
“A sloth? Show me again. Grandma, you know how much I love sloths, don’t you?”
(Says Daddy, “Good call, Grandma. He was really upset.”)
“T, I’m going to mail them to you first thing in the morning and you should have them by Saturday. That’s three days from now.”
“Grandma, can you go to the post office NOW and mail them to me?”
“It’s a bit late in the day, so it will have to be in the morning, but I promise I’ll do it first thing, OK?”
“DAD, GRANDMA’S GOING TO MAIL THEM TO ME FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.”
“Now we have that problem solved, don’t we? That will make everything better, don’t you think? Maybe it will be a good idea not to let Char get too close to the balls so that she doesn’t chew on them, right? She’s still such a little one and is learning what can and can’t go in her mouth. We need to be very careful with her.”
Apparently we were done with that subject and his fears were sufficiently allayed because he entered the Twilight Zone with his next topic…
“Grandma? I’m going to pick you up from the airport tomorrow. It might take me a week to get there, but I’m going to be there and the first thing you’ll say is, ‘There’s my Theo!!””
“Whoa, um, T, I’m not actually going to get on an airplane tomorrow, you know that, don’t you?”
“It’s going to take me a long time to get there, probably a week, but I’ll be there.”
“I hope I can see you really soon, Angel Boy, and then I will give you the BIGGEST HUG ever.”
“OK, Grandma, Bye.”
And that was it.
Whew, good thing I’m Grandma to the rescue. Crisis averted.
If only all disasters were so easily solved, right?
My little guy and I LOVE LOVE to search for rocks and seashells and feathers and other treasures.
It doesn’t matter if we’re walking in the neighborhood or at the beach or in the mountains, we make time to search for Mother Nature’s precious gifts.
Holding a rock in his little (but almost as big as mine) hand, he says, “Is this a keeper, Grandma?”
I take a look, think for a minute, and reply, “No, not that one. It’s not asking me to come home. Let’s leave it for someone else to find and bring to their house.”
“How about THIS one, Grandma?”
“Oh YES, T! That’s exactly the kind I love. It’s perfect.”
“OK, you bring it home with you and I’ll see it when we come to your house.”
“Why do you love rocks so much?”
“Great question, T. I love them because they make me happy and I like to collect pretty things. Why do YOU like rocks?”
“They make ME happy, too, Grandma!”
“OK. Think about this. You like it when you get presents in the mail, right? Well, this is getting presents too, but they don’t cost money and we get to have so much fun finding them together, so when we’re not together, we can remember what fun we had.”
“Hey, T, is this the kind that you like?”
I’m holding a pure white oval rock.
“Oh yes! Do you want it, Grandma?”
“That’s very kind of you to think about me, T, but this one is for you. Let’s look for more.”
At this point, all my pockets are full and weighted down by rocks and seashells, and my backpack has no more room, either.
“T, look at me, I’m all loaded down! Let’s leave some to find next time, OK?”
“Grandma, we love rocks so much, don’t we? I put the special ones in the little box you sent me. Where do you keep yours?”
“My special favorites are on the windowsill in my bedroom, so I can see them every day and think about you.”
“Can you take a picture of them and send it to me?”
I was on the phone yesterday evening, talking to my littlest Angel Boy who was beyond excited that the box of fairy garden bits and pieces had arrived.
There are fairy gardens all over his neighborhood and he’s fascinated exactly the same way I am.
A long while back, pre-Covid, I had gotten a lot of things from my local Dollar Tree to make a fairy garden here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells, but the trip they had scheduled to visit me had to be cancelled, so that’s why I sent them.
As I was chatting with him, watching him place the little gnomes and owls and house and bridge in a corner of his front yard, I looked up and saw the most amazing shadows on the wall.
They’re some of the fifteen windchimes that line the house on the deck. The sea turtle swimming across the wall made me smile.