I'm thrilled to be travelling with my sister, and to see Paris with her, but I'm especially glad that the trip will distract me from another journey to Europe. I've spent as much time as I could this past week trying to help this daughter
And she sleeps. She is happy, happy, happy, and then she begins to fuss, and soon after, she's rubbing at her eyes, and we all know it's time. So I walk her a bit, and try to snuggle her into my shoulder, and she fights me a bit, so I loosen up and let her shift around, and she arcs back away from me. But then she looks at me intently and she starts to sing, wordlessly. I take the hint (really, it's more of an order -- you'd have to have been there) and I begin singing a lullaby and she responds by moving back toward my shoulder. I keep walk-jiggling, but my arm is getting weary, so I shift over to the rocking chair and ease the two of us into it. She's okay with the move, at first, but then she rears back again, resisting, and she fusses a bit. But only a bit, and then again, the nestling, this time into a prime spot somewhere between my shoulder and my chin. Hard to nuzzle and sing a lullaby and pat a diapered bum and rock the chair at just the right rhythm, all at once, but I'm a Nana and these are my superpowers. Sure enough, within minutes, she's sound, sound, sound asleep. On my chest. Perfection.
But this week, I'm feeling a huge wrenching. The images of her -- smiling, fussing, playing, sleeping -- overlay much earlier images of her mother, virtual camera rolls scroll decades across my mind's eye. And they'll soon be overlaid by new images, FaceTime screens. If only those came with the smell of a baby's scalp, the feeling registered by the skin of one's nose as it nuzzles into the creases at the back of a baby's neck, or by lips grazing a baby's cheeks. The hug a daughter gives, sometimes beginning a bit tentatively but growing generously into a melding of arms and shoulders and backs and hands and beautiful thick hair on a head that you once knew as infant bald. Do you think FaceTime will give me that?
So it's a very good thing I have a trip to Paris to distract me. When I get back, it will be a whole new world order for this Nana. And life goes on. . .