Monday, September 07, 2009

Paisley Rae

I watched my new granddaughter sleep today. She sleeps the sleep of the blessed. No twitching, squirming, dreaming, no kicking, twisting, or any of those other oddities that seem to disrupt the sleep of the more "mature." She simply ... slept. She was all nestled in safely to her little seat. She could not fall out, be stepped on, accidentally smacked or other less than delightful occurrence. Her mom and dad take great care to make certain that she is safe and protected from a rough and rowdy world. (And a rough and rowdy family!)

I've been Paisley's grandpa now for a few weeks. I have not written on this space about her at all, though she graces the pages of my private journal at length. It's not that I don't love Paisley. It's not that I don't care about her. It's just that she's an unknown quantity wrapped in flesh. This is a good thing! I find myself staring at her and wondering what her voice will sound like. What her eye color will wind up being. Will her hair be curly? What color will it be when it is fully grown? And her smile. Will it be all toothy and child like or will she fast forward to a more adult smile before her time? Hey, it happens. And we just don't know.

One day this week our family had gathered for lunch at a restaurant near her home. As we came out Paisley was strapped into her car seat which was then buckled tightly into her car. Everybody was standing a bit away from the open door. She was completely safe. I wandered over in that direction and stuck my head in and looked at her. Her eyes were closed. Her eyes at this age are most always closed. Suddenly, without warning or provocation, she began to cry. It was one of those real cries that start in the gut, explodes through the throat and then begins to quiver as her lungs run out of air. I leaned in closer to her. I brushed her forehead with my cheek and gently whispered, "Shhhhhhh. It's alright. Shhhhhh. Grandpa doesn't know what's wrong but he loves you and he is here. Shhhhh." And. Well. She stopped crying. I stopped whispering but I continued to brush my cheek against her forehead. When I finally stopped she began crying again. We went back and forth that way three times. Her lovely mama came over and I stepped back. I'm sure she addressed the real issue and Paisley once again slipped into her deep sleep.

I've thought a lot about those three moments today. I saw her again over lunch. We didn't speak. You guessed it, she was sound asleep. Babies need a lot of sleep. She will certainly be a strong young lady if getting her fill of snoozing is any indication. But as I ate my lunch and looked at my granddaughter I found myself dreaming about afternoons pushing her on a swing. Morning's at McDonalds eating that kids breakfast Happy Meal. Evenings singing to her, "You are my (nickname to yet be decided) my only (nickname yet to be decided.) You make me happy, when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my (nickname to be decided) away!" I sang that song to all three of my kids when they were small. And I'll sing it to all of my grandchildren. Why? Just because I can. Not because I sing well. I don't. Not because the song is creative. It isn't. But simply because it says what I want Paisley to know. I want her to know "I love you." If that requires this croaking old voice to sing, then sing it shall.

Paisley. I love you. Thanks for making me smile today. I can't wait to REALLY meet you. Until then, well, if you need somebody to run their cheek over your forehead and whisper, "Shhhhh" you just let me know, I'm here for you, baby girl.


Anonymous said...

You are a lucky, lucky man. You have had nothing but wonderful children, great spouses for them and good grandchildren. You have a great wife. You have I incredible brother-in-laws. (I don't think that can be stress too much). A lovely and loving sister in law. A good brother. You my friend are lucky.

Don't screw it up! :)

Jeff your brother