Tag Archives: inheritance

Inheritance Week

There was a tiny visitor in our home for a week – an adorable replica of her Dada – a little 1 1/2 year old who has her Bubbe and Grandpa utterly smitten.

As her parents traveled the southeastern states for a wonderful road-trip week of re-connection, we traversed the roads back to parenthood with a sudden immersion into the world of the toddler.

The first lesson – do not disregard nap times!  We may be the adults and we may be in charge of the schedule, but passing over the nap was such a painful experience come bedtime, oh my!  Right back to the toddler schedule we went!

One of the interesting things I observed that week is the propensity for this little one to gravitate toward little girls things.

As a mom to boys, I have a good stock of toys that boys enjoy:  cars, trucks, planes, boats, ninja turtles and the like.  We’ve stocked plenty of girl things as the years have passed, to appease the nieces who visit.

So I set out an assemblage of age appropriate things – and her little self was smitten with the baby dolls and stuffed animals, and the purse!

Not that any of this matters.  I just found it interesting, in a Bubbe sort of way.

Now that the time has passed, and work has resumed, and gardens have taken all of my home attentions, I look back on the week and smile.

That was the most amazing week of my life.

I’m glad her precious little self has her very precious Mama and Dada back within reach, and I just hope that this was the beginning of a family tradition.

 

Buckets Are Too Limiting

Dust in the wind, worm food – either way, my personal take on death is that I will know no more.  It will be the end of me, the last breath, the circle of life.  Last call…

It’s a heavy thought – to think that nothing follows, that there is just an end – but it suits me, suits my practical nature.

One of my sons once posted a thought, which I’ll paraphrase:  if a person is only good because they’re focused on divine reward, then that person is a piece of shit.  I don’t know if these were his own words, and I don’t know that he won a lot of praise or ‘likes’ for that.  But if you stop and think about it, it makes sense.

If only rules, or rules hedged about with some eternal reward system are keeping you from bouncing out of control and into a psychotic rage, or killing frenzy, then you’re simply a caged rabid animal.  Where is the realness, the human connection, the compassion?

If those pieces are missing, then you really are a piece of shit.  Like it or not, calloused though it may be, it’s the simple truth.

There are moments when I think people see me in similar light.  Cold.  Unreachable.  Distant.  Tightly strung.

The truth is that I feel so deeply, watch ever so intently and capture essences and nuances of meaning and feeling that often escape others.  It’s painful, it’s draining, and it makes me put on the tough skin of protection to keep it from shredding me into millions of little pieces.  Dust.  Pieces of dust that would so easily blow away, carried off to unknown places and spaces, away from me.

Another son stated when announcing a pregnancy that he and his wife were ‘growing a human’.

How aptly said.

A combination of their parts, their pieces, that attach little parts and pieces of the generations preceding them – a tiny piece of me – grew inside the womb.  Destined to be an infant, this little nugget emerged last November, a wonderful wriggling, wrinkled version of itself, a new growth on the family tree.

There are few people who fit ever so perfectly into my comfort zone.  My introverted self, my regulated and logical nature requires that I have plenty of space to call my own, and plenty of time to fill that space.  My sons and their spouses are included in those few (hubby’s a given, a keeper, the magnet holding me in my space) and it’s always such an easy-going and comfortable time when they come to visit.

But during a recent visit, there was this edge to me, this pressure behind my eyes, this feeling of tears that could burst forth at any given moment – a strange thing when I was so relaxed and so enjoying the company.

It took words penned by my dear friend for me to realize that it was pure joy ebbing and bubbling beneath my surface.  I was so powerfully moved by this new event, this new growth that it didn’t have a proper slot to fit into my logic, nothing prior to name this, to capture and label this emotion.

pail and leaves

My bucket flows over.

My list is now such a pittance, such a distraction from the wonder of seeing what comes next, what this fabulous little seed of a human brought with her emergence…

Bucket lists are too limiting.  What I want to see before I die, I cannot even begin to fathom.

But the end has suddenly changed course, because not only will parts of me continue through my son after I die, now there will be parts of me to last another generation.  That, my friends, that’s what’s real.

A Growing Family

Due to increased risk to mommy and baby, our pregnant daughter-in-law will be induced this week – three weeks early – bringing a new granddaughter into our world.

The thought of that perfect little parcel of cells opening her mouth wide and gulping her first breath exhilarates me.

I’ve always loved kids.  Kids and animals.  Put me in a room full of faces and bodies and I’ll find a corner from which to observe and the small bodies will gravitate to me.

Conversations with kids are so easy and natural – innocent and information hungry questions, simple requests, and bonding extraordinaire.  Pure enjoyment of pets comes without the hassle of overtones and inflections and nuances.

Adding instant grandchildren has been so easy for me.  Build a quick addition to my ‘heart and soul house’ and put their name on the wall.  Instant family.  Instant love.  Equal rights.  Easy-peasey.

This is a first though – a challenge to my stance.  A seed.  The added room to the ‘heart and soul house’ is more like a new tree.  It’s been growing, a part of me already – not quite the same as something I’ve built.  Suddenly I’m aware of those carefully saved treasures, little snippets of papers to show progress through the years; memories captured – boxed and saved books from my childhood, special items from my son’s childhood; simple little cards and writings I’ve protected dutifully through the years.  Suddenly all of these things make perfect sense.  Their space-taking has full value now – these are the physical representations, the accouterments of the new room, the outgrowth finally seen for its worth.

And now my logical mind wrests with the knowledge that what I’ve always said, what I’ve always thought, what I’ve always lived, is not quite true.  I’ve fooled myself.

Blood is thicker than water.  It is.  There’s a surge of feelings that cannot simply be constructed with imported family.

But there is the choice, free choice, true choice to build family, to add them honestly and truly to your heart.

I recognize the difference now, as I contemplate that these hands, these arms, these eyes, will caress an outgrowth of my cells, my parts, my pieces.  My mom’s parts and pieces – my dad’s parts and pieces.  Suddenly the generational puzzle will fit another piece into place.

Those family that have been added as fully formed units formed from other generational parts are still my family – they have their own true familial space, because my heart constructs very authentic room additions on the ‘heart and soul house’.  For better or for worse.

So to my daughter-in-law who brought me instant grandchildren:  Dear love, you are my tribe – your kids are my tribe.  I’m Grandma no matter the result of your vows – the heart rooms are already built, and I’m a master constructor, and an equal opportunity sort of gal.  Please understand that I never got the same start with your babes that is now available with their cousin-to-be.  Bear with me as I bond, as I relish in the glow of new feelings.  Hang in there Hon – there’s no devaluation in store.  We’re adding, not subtracting, love for one more.  You are my daughter, and I love you and what you’ve added to our family.

And to my daughter-in-law who carries the unborn child of my son, my cells, the inheritor of my past:  Dear love, bear with me as I run the gamut of emotions, as I try to give you space to bond.  For my hands want to reach out and intertwine with this new little semblance of my son.  My mind wants to erase the mistakes I made as a mom and embrace the opportunities of being a grandma that is there from day one, with the hindsight and knowledge to share.  I’ll do my best not to smother you all with my needs.  Know that as this little one resides in room number six of the ‘heart-and-soul’ home – it’s the first room of its type, it’s special and will always be, something I have no skill to construct.  A room only God can produce.  I love you, dear daughter, and love what you give to my son.

Bubbe T

aka Grandma Trish