Posts Tagged With: grandfathers and granddaughters

“B-Papa house”

We had our first Baby K weekend.
Well, it was more of a trial run. She spent one night instead of two.

Saturday morning she spent her time waffling between eating her breakfast and rushing to the window to see if I was there to get her yet.
When I came down the hill to their house, she and her mommy were on the front porch waiting. I beeped the horn and she threw her hands in the air and said, “BEEEE!”

On the way home she talked excitedly about seeing her Papa. When we pulled into the garage, I sent her inside to find Papa while I got her bag and mine from the car.
Of course Baby K was immediately distracted by all the pumpkins I placed around the house. The search for Papa was temporarily postponed while she went everywhere she could reach them and brought them to a central location in the living room.


She systematically gathered them all around her.


Then cracked up with laughter!

Papa had to wait patiently for her to be ready to greet him. It was worth the wait though, she flung herself at him and squeezed him tightly.

Sunday we went to the little playground in our neighborhood.

This girl climbed and slid and climbed and slid and went in and under and over as much of the entire structure as possible!

She went into the little house and announced it was hers then began to say, “Arf arf!”
I asked her if she was a dog and she said, “Mm-HMM!”

She even barked out the window to her Papa.

We were able to play nearly half an hour before it began to sprinkle and we had to head home.

She’s really into creating family groups. Pulling together three things and calling it the baby, mommy and daddy. Whenever she groups these things, she says, “Awww” and kind of hugs herself.
She was doing it here with us too. “B-Papa, Awww”
When we were both near enough to each other and her, she would put her arms out and say, B-Papa. We would lean into her and she would make the sweetest mmmm sound and whisper the word home.
The fact that we are her home as much as her parents are overwhelms my heart. That we’re a place she feels comfortable and safe is powerful stuff, y’all.
The fact that I have seasonal decor she can play with doesn’t hurt either…

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a girl and her bomb pop

YBW and I went over to see Baby K (and her Mommy and Daddy) Sunday after visiting the new house. It’s been two weeks since we last saw them and I gotta tell you, I missed that kid!
When we drove up she came tearing around the side of the house and across the yard screaming, “BEEEEEE! PAPA!” and leapt right into YBW’s arms! They hugged and she giggled and then she turned and held up her arms and said, “Beee!” we squeezed each other so tightly!
All was right with the world because Baby K and her Birdie and Papa were in the same place again.

We played.
We had lunch.
We went to the playground.
That girl is quickly mastering climbing up slides, and I couldn’t be prouder!

The ice cream truck drove by and some of the bigger kids on the playground began screaming, “Ice cream man!” and running.
Baby K has no earthly idea what the ice cream man is but she pointed at the truck and said, “Hi keem!”, you know her Papa went and stood in line behind all those other kids patiently waiting to get that girl some ice cream. She stood with her mommy and I pointed at the pictures until she grinned and gave an enthusiastic, “Mmm hmm!”.

a girl and her bomb pop

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Baby K is two!

Monday was the second anniversary of Baby K coming into our world.
Y’all, I’m just as awestruck, just as joyful, just as SQUEE as I was that day.
This little girl is more than I could ever hope for!

YBW and I went out to their house in the early afternoon timing our arrival with her waking from her nap.
Three things happened all at once: Baby K woke kind of grouchy, Aunt Gaga (Thing 2) called, and Papa pulled M&M’s out of his pocket.

When she heard her Auntie’s voice, Baby K was all smiles even though she was grouchy. Then suddenly, she climbed out of her mommy’s lap and ran to her Papa.
I was over there like WTF?
That’s when I realized he bribed her with candy.
Classic grandfather move. (imagine me shaking my fist, while also being slightly amused)

Well, it turns out talking to your Aunt and sharing chocolate with your Papa is just what a grouchy-wake-up birthday girl needs.

Presents were tricky, as she really didn’t understand exactly what was going on, but she loves to rip paper, so it evens out. However, she does rip the teeniest little pieces of paper off stuff, so it takes about forty-seven-thousand (possible exaggeration) separate rips to actually unwrap a gift.
Papa and I solved that problem with gift bags, though she pulls out each piece of tissue one at a time so it’s a similar process. (oh, that girl!)

This backpack was a hit.
She said, “A clue! A clue!”
The moment she got it on her back, she waved and said, “Bye!” before turning and walking to the front door.

That girl was ready to go!
Um…peace out, chicken.

My offspring are notorious for their ambivalence toward cake, and it seems to have carried on to the next generation too. So, instead of cake Baby K had ice cream as her birthday treat! A chocolate shake to be exact. From this delicious little frozen custard place not too far from their house.

How it started:

Where we finally put a stop to it:

Birdie took her straight to the tubby while her Daddy and Papa cleaned the mess, and her Mommy started a load of laundry.

Y’all it was spectacular!
She became one with that ice cream and it was an absolute joy to watch. Even when she splashed it all over the rest of us, we couldn’t help but laugh!

This was Baby K’s second birthday in the time of covid. Even though she didn’t get a big ol’ party, we had big ol’ fun!

My daughter’s daughter is precious and beloved.
I’m grateful she was born.
I’m grateful to celebrate her birthday with her.
I’m grateful to be her Birdie.

Categories: love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a dollie crib for Baby K

I finished the dollie crib for Baby K!

When it was mine it was a sort of green leaning aqua color with animal decals.
I painted it purple and added the wooden hearts for Thing 1.
Since Baby K doesn’t have a favorite color yet, I chose two soft coral colors hoping she’ll like them.

First, I took it completely apart and sanded it. Then I used wood glue to ensure it went back together properly before prepping it for paint.

I finished painting it Friday.
(you can see where even with sanding it well, the decals and where the hearts were attached were problematic)

I put it back together Saturday.

YBW had a piece for the bottom that became exactly what was needed with a little reinforcement.
I cut foam to the perfect fit for the crib mattress.
Went to Target Sunday afternoon for a pillow case to cover the foam mattress.
(WTF was I thinking going anywhere on the weekend in these mask-wearing-pandemic times? Target was straight chaos. For a bit longer, I will only go public places during the week.)

Anyway, we had fun reimagining this little doll bed for Baby K.
Now it’s in her room, and ready for her to put her dollies in when she gets here.
Three weeks from today!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

what story is more important than this

These are the thoughts that hatch as I go through seventy plus years of family photos.

It comes down to being the last living person who has any real understanding of some of these photos, and people. My girls knew my parents, but only in the capacity of children. They didn’t know Grandaddy at all, even though Thing 2 is named for him.

I’m trying to pare down photos of my Grandaddy, mom, and dad, and keep only what tells a story. And then share those stories and let Thing 2 decide how she’s going to proceed. I don’t want her to have to sift through photos and wonder who’s who. Who’s important. Or that she should feel obligated to keep them without being able to answer those questions.
I don’t want her to feel guilty about parting with anything she doesn’t like, want, or understand.

I’m being mindful about each photo I touch. I’m saving much more than I’m actually inclined to, simply because I want to give Thing 2 the opportunity to touch these same photos and see if they mean anything to her.
One example is a letter my great uncle sent to Grandaddy and my grandmother in 1948. My mom was about to celebrate her 3rd birthday and my great uncle was sending pics of being in the army. That was what actually initiated the four and a half hour call to Thing 2. I’m saving all correspondence for her now, so she can see the handwriting and photos and make her own choices.

This process is helping me feel close to my family, but also picking at the scab of grief.

My Grandaddy died in 1992.
I miss him every single day. Not purposefully, it’s just there. A part of me. In my skin. It’s comforting and a sad at the same time. He has always been a part of me and always will. He was my first love. The one who helped me see that love didn’t have to be cruel and conditional.

My mom died in 2011. Mostly I’m relieved I can’t disappoint her anymore. But there are times when I miss the idea of her. Sometimes you just want your mom, even though you know she won’t actually bring you any comfort.
A part of me wishes she could see Thing 1 be Baby K’s mom. But only as long as she kept her criticisms to herself.

My dad died in 2014.
I miss him. The relationship we were building in the last few years of his life. After he came out he was different. Like, he had spoken his truth and could breathe freely for the first time in his life. He loved YBW and was building a strong friendship with him. He was becoming a wonderful grandfather to nearly adult girls and they loved that. I find myself still thinking, Oh! I should call Daddie and tell him…

Going through these photos is helpful.
I feel that twinge of missing them. But I feel peaceful in that.
Seeing pics of Grandaddy in his whites. Or wearing a red wig and making crazy faces.
Or my parents when they were young and actually thought they loved each other.

I want to share as many stories with Thing 2 as I can remember! I want her to know her family.
I’ve got a million photos of me as a little girl, teen, etc. I look so forward to sharing those stories with her!
However arduous this process may be, I’m so joyful to be going through it.

I look forward to sharing stories with her about her childhood. The ones she doesn’t remember. I’m hopeful seeing and touching these photographs will trigger some of them for her. If not, I’ll tell her everything I can remember.

Thing 1 said it wasn’t as much that she didn’t care about the photos as it was she didn’t want to go through thousands of photos to find the six she wants. I’ve solved that problem for her. She can go through hundreds to find the six she wants. I want to share stories with her too, but she remembers so much more than Thing 2 simply because she has three more years of life.

I found this photo of me. Homecoming 1989 maybe?

I sent it in the girls group chat and said, Hey, your momma was kind of a hottie.

How’s that for a story?
Is it only with the power of hindsight we begin to truly see? To truly understand?
I don’t know. But I want to share these stories and these photos with the people I love. I want them to be meaningful and maybe even powerful.
This is us.
This is our life.
This is our history.
What story is more important than this?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

for this is the recipe of love

I found this when I was going through my mother’s things.
20150818_163556
It’s my Grandaddy’s handwriting. I’d recognize it anywhere.
I suspect it’s the toast he made at my parents wedding.
Now, my parents were an ill suited match, but they made me so I’m not going to complain. They were terribly unhappy together, and after my father left us, Mommie remained unhappy deep in her soul. Perhaps that unhappiness came to her when her mother died. I don’t know. I just know that it seemed to me that even though she would express real joy, she was always miserable down in her soul.

Grandaddy didn’t especially like my dad…but that could have been for any number of reasons.
My dad was only likable when he chose to be. Most times he was a right bastard. Of course, a childhood of abuse and a lifetime of hiding his sexual orientation contributed to that.

Grandaddy was a grumpy old thing. But he was helping to raise kids in his sixties and seventies. Oh! How I adored him. He was the first man I ever fell in love with. And quite possibly he was in love with me more than he had ever been with my mom. I think she knew it. I think she was jealous of that love. But, I don’t really care. That love was sacred and nothing will ever change that.

I’m being tangential as all get out…this post started out differently in my head…I’m going to try and make my way back to the reason I’m sharing this photo.

YBW and I have asked my niece, Girlie Thing, to read this at our wedding. Sundance was with me when I found the tiny envelope with Grandaddy’s writing. I knew then I wanted it to be a part of our wedding day.

As I go through the invitation and response lists, I realize my only blood family is Thing 1 and Thing 2. The family I made: Sundance and her babies, my darling friend in Arizona and her family, my friend and mentor, and my former husband’s little sister and her family, will be with me the day I wed the man I waited forty-four years to marry.
I have great sadness that Mommie never even met YBW. That my dad didn’t live long enough to be a part of this day, he adored YBW and our relationship.
My sadness about Grandaddy isn’t so much that he won’t know YBW or be at our wedding, it’s more that everyday missing him that resides deep in my heart.

All this said, I have wonderful people that I love who will celebrate with us on October 24. But with this tiny envelope, a bit of my parents and Grandaddy will be with me too. And that makes my heart happy.

Perhaps that’s the recipe of love…
The family from which you come mixed with the friends who become your family and a dollop of your own babies on top. I’ll mix these with YBW’s family. The one from which he came and his fraternity brothers who became his family and a dollop of his babies.

Whatever the recipe, I am chock-full of love. I’m grateful for those who taught me to love when I was a little girl. For those whom I befriended and taught me how to expand my love. For the man who showed me that love was something I never even imagined. And for the gifts of daughters who taught me new and awe-inspiring ways to love.

Categories: love, wedding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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