We will soon be married for 46 years. It’s hard to believe that it has been such a long period of time since it seems to have gone so quickly. I was reminded of the reality of the years this afternoon as I trimmed my beard. For the first time that I can remember… although it’s possible that I just never paid attention before … I was struck by the color of a very large portion of the clippings in the sink as I collected them. I was genuinely surprised to observe that they were white! How could that be? But that is not the direction of my thoughts this evening.
Linda has been away for two weeks while I have been alternately spending a few days at home and a few days in LuMar Land (Lucy/Margaret Land, a.k.a.: Davenport IA). After 46 years, one would think that I would know my sweetheart pretty well and …. I do. But she still surprises me. Her purpose in maintaining a two-week presence in LuMar Land was to provide assistance to Charissa after the birth of Margo on June 5.
What I have found quite remarkable is how naturally she has fallen into the old familiar traces of a form of motherhood. Seeing her crawl around on the floor, playing with a child’s toys, carrying on a conversation with a two-year old while they enjoy making an imaginary breakfast revealed a strange mystery concerning this woman who is newly qualified for Medicare. Watching her carry a two-year old on her hip for long periods of time with no evidence of discomfort; observing her changing diapers (dirty ones too … is this the same woman who used to gag when trying to change the diapers of children in the church nursery?), sitting at the table while she coaxed a fussy toddler to eat her veggies and seeing her use the old “steam shovel and tunnel” trick at breakfast time made me wonder, “Who is this woman and what did she do with my wife!” It has been heartwarming to see her tenderly hold Margaret one moment and then lovingly but firmly admonish Lucy in the next. She exudes something that I’ve never seen before. She was a wonderful mother to our three children … but this is different! I’ve told some who have asked that “She is in her glory!” I”m not even sure what that phrase means, entirely … but it seems apt.
This evening as I spent time doing a little cleaning around our home which has been an on again, off again, bachelor pad for the last two weeks, it occurred to me that the reason for my surprise is due to the very fact that my sweet wife has never really had the opportunity to be a “hands on grandmother” before. Circumstances of life being what they were … it just wasn’t an option. But now, given the opportunity, she has blossomed into a beautiful and fragrant flower of the species known as “Grandma.” She’s a “natural.”
I’ll be glad to have her back home …but I also know that I’ll need to be sure she has plenty of opportunity to explore this new world of grandmothering from the ground up.
In the meantime, I’ll try to keep up with her and will I’ll ponder the advisability of checking out some Grecian Formula! 🙂