What would a vacation for us be without a stay at Honey and Grandy's? And what would a stay at Honey and Grandy's be without a blog post from Honey?
What a difference a year makes.
A year ago Steve and I kept Harper while Brooke and Jared went to Puerto Rico on an incentive trip for Jared’s work. Grandy and I watched Harper again this year as Jared was fortunate enough to again qualify an incentive trip for the two of them to go to Jamaica.
As I watched Harper run from room to room, point to objects and watch our lips form the shapes necessary to make the words and then do her best to repeat those words, as she would touch, feel, open and shut everything in sight I found myself thinking back to what it was like keeping her last year.
Last year Harper was 5 months old. She had been home from the hospital just a little over 3 short months and she was still rather “new” to all of us. I was concerned with dressing and wrapping her Omphalocele correctly, but knew I could never measure up to Brooke’s expert technique. We were so careful with her bottles giving her just the right amount of pumped breast milk mixed with formula in order for her to gain weight.
Spitting up was an issue and bibs and burp cloths were constantly being washed. Her sleep routine, while at the time seemed easy for a 5 month old was difficult without her mommy and her own bed. I would rock her till she fell asleep, gently lay her down and 30 minutes later she was awake and inconsolable. And Harper was an “easy” baby!
Well, what a difference a year makes! Grandy and I found ourselves watching the monitor each morning just waiting for Harper to stand up in her crib so we could go up and welcome her into the day. She would greet us with open arms and smiles and giggles. Oh sure we stood on our heads to entertain Harper...we went to the park (numerous times), the zoo...she loved the monkeys and bear, we went on extensive walks, we would go outside and swing and blow bubbles, read book after book and play for hours in the Mouse House upstairs. Harper loved watching me get dressed every day. She would stand at the shower door and I would provide commentary on everything I was doing...a little weird, but it worked. As I would put on my make-up & dry my hair Harps played in 2 drawers in our bathroom that are now hers. One is full of bandaids, the other little zipper pouches and travel products. She would then go into my closet with me to dress. There she found my scarf drawer and each morning would pick out different scarfs and we would make new fashion designs that she would run to Grandy for applause and approval.
Harper quickly told us, in her 17 old month way that it was no longer appropriate for me to be the one to put her down for the night. Grandy’s attempt wasn’t good enough either. Then it dawned on me, Brooke and Jared always put Harper down together and voila from then on we had our bedtime ritual of all 3 of us reading “Goodnight Moon,” singing “Jesus Loves Me” and saying a nighttime prayer and with 2 pacifiers in hand the girl was a goner. We quickly realized how fun this threesome was so it became a nap time ritual as well.
I remember when Brent and Brooke were babies and each year thinking, “This is my favorite stage”. I loved the cuddly baby stage, but this toddler stage that Harper is in now, where she is like a little sponge absorbing everything so quickly and delighted in anything you do for her--well, does it get any better than this? My answer is, “Of course it does!”
Each stage holds it’s own magic. When they begin putting words together to make sentences. Brent used to sing “...little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is STROMA” and Brooke would always say, “hold you Mommy, hold you”. Then they learn to count, to read, to ride a bike and before you know it...in a blink of an eye...they’ve grown wings and they are soaring high. While that is what every parent desires for their
children, it’s never easy to see them go. I often found myself wishing for those tender years that went so quickly to return. I yearned to hear the patter of those little feet, the sound of that small voice wanting to be held and consoled, if only for a few brief moments…but my children were grown up, it was not to be.
But guess what?!? My wishes have come true in the best way possible. Grandchildren! Grandchildren become a parents way of revisiting those precious years we only thought we had lost forever. No, our children will never need us like they once did, but the joy they are able to give us in allowing us to care and love and nurture their little ones is the best gift imaginable.
I love when my wishes come true and I can’t wait for our next little one!
I love you this much,