Two years ago yesterday, my parents met their newest great-grandchild for the first time. I remember the day so well. Arabella was a colic baby and the day Mom and Dad came she was not a happy camper. Have mercy, have mercy. But my parents did what they’ve done all of my life: they made the best of the situation, although it was obvious they felt distressed that this little being was apparently distressed herself. I'd never believed in colic until Arabella's birth but I'm a true believer now.
At one point, I remember my mother cradling her screaming newborn granddaughter in her arms and walking around and around and around the house, whispering sweet nothings, hoping for that magic moment of calm and quiet. We were lucky to get a few pictures between the screams, and I will always cherish them.
Since Arabella's birth, we’ve made an effort to see that she spends time with her great-grandparents, and it takes the working of both sides to make it happen, but they adore their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and I love how they have captured Arabella's heart, as well.
She calls my mother Nanny, instead of the usual Nana, which only makes me smile. We’ve seen my parents recently, but the last time they were at our house was in January and Arabella still remembers where they sat. Even today, she’ll walk over to the couch and pat it and say, “Papa,” then go to the rocker/recliner and say, “Nanny.” And, in her own little way, she still recalls the details of their visit. It goes something like this: “Nanny. Papa. Home. Bye,” interpreted as Nanny and Papa came, they went home, and we waved bye as they drove off. As an afterthought, she usually adds one more word later: “Song.” That means that while they were here, we listened to one of Papa’s CDs and he sang along with it.
Oh, these fleeting days make my heart happy, in a bittersweet kind of way.