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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Chasing Dreams & Andrew


Yesterday was the kind of day that, if I was a child, I would have put a gold star on the calendar. 

I not only got to see Andrew, but it has become somewhat customary for my daughter and I to go to lunch once he is down for his nap, and dad is home from running errands. 

For the first time I drove to their home. I managed to get all the way there and then got lost in their neighborhood, though their home is only a few blocks after you enter. 

So she and Andrew stood outside waiting for me to find my way back. It felt so good to turn a corner and see my family standing there grinning and waving to me from the curb.



I took nearly 80 photos of Andrew with my camera, but he is moving so fast now, most come out a blur.


Because now that Andrew has figured out how to walk, he never stops. You can't hold him, because there is a world of things to do and touch and taste and see. And he just doesn't have time to sit still for you.


There are the moments when he loses his balance and topples to the floor, and I am right behind him trying to get a focused shot before he scoots himself up, and is off to the races again.



This is not the kind of photo I would normally have chosen. With big black trash bags full of leaves in the background. But these days I have to take what I can get while he is momentarily still.

He loves to open drawers and drag everything out. He likes to drop objects inside bigger objects, I think just to hear the sound of it. He is rarely sitting on the floor playing now. Too much to do. Places to go. People/things to see.

He is at that age when he pretty much ignores others because he has more pressing matters. The world must seem like a brand new playground as he heads all over the downstairs, legs far apart for better balance.

I have yet to hear this child cry. He is such a delightful and happy boy. His mother puts him down for his nap and there is not a peep out of him. He feels safe in his world, and his parents are fantastic. One lucky little boy.

I want to teach him about birds and nature and whatever I can get him interested in. I want him to see what I see. To stop and notice the world around him instead of rushing from place to place as people often do. 

He likes his daycare where he goes while his mom works. He will never have to worry that his mother won't show up at the same time as always. He will never have to worry about whether there is enough food to eat. He will never have to wonder if he is loved.



My daughter, who I never thought would have children, is a delight to watch. She is the picture of maternal love, the kind of mother every child wants and deserves. 

She is attentive and loving and patient. She smiles at him often and kisses him. And her eyes are filled with such love I am often near tears just watching it all evolve in front of me.

I enjoy my time with Andrew immensely, though now it entails chasing behind him, as he is always busy going, going, going. 

But I also live for the hour or so she and I have to sit across from one another and eat a meal and talk. 

We are building a bridge, slowly and steadily, that I hope is solid and weight-bearing, so that she and I can easily meet one another in the middle. I figure while we're at it we might as well take the time and build a strong bridge, that will hold up over time. 

Life is not perfect for anyone. Sometimes there are people who just don't want to be in your life. And though I cried all the way home thinking about the time I'm losing with the other one, there's nothing I can do. But wish her well. 

And fervently hope that she can look at the glass half-full and find her way to happiness, with or without me.

I'm thankful for what I do have. Finally feeling part of a family that seems willing to accept me as I am.
Cozy Little House
107 Comments
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107 comments:

  1. such a beautiful post - it is so nice to be able to have a relationship with a daughter and grandchild - I am happy that you are experiencing this in your life as some time ago when I first started to read your blog - right before you moved to this tiny apartment you seemed so alone

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    1. And I was so alone. But things have turned around. And I am so thankful.

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  2. I am so happy for the lovely day you had. I pray that you will enjoy many more.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sometimes it is the simplest of days that bring you the most joy. Yesterday was one of them.

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  3. Hi Brenda, I love that sweet faced boy. How cute. I pray you and your daughters will one day be joined as family. It is good that Andrew's mommy and you are close. Easter blessings to all of you, xoxo,Susie

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    1. I cherish a relationship with her. I might have been distracted by other things in my life in years past, but now I am solidly focused on being in her life.

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  4. Andrew is so adorable!! I am so happy for you Brenda!! Happy Easter.

    Kathy

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  5. Happy Easter to you! It is raining here. I suppose there are a lot of children looking outside at the rain and wondering why it has to rain today.

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  6. This post brings renewal and faith to me. This is happening in my family and it's heartbreaking. Reestablishing a parent and child relationship is a slow process like you said and the pictures is showing a loved Grandson and a very happy Grandma taking them.
    Have a beautiful day with your pupsters Brenda
    Kathleen in Az

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    1. I'm sorry. It is so painful when there's such a rift in the family. It truly is heartbreaking,

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  7. Your essay touched my heart. Best wishes as you build a lasting bridge of understanding and love. It is warming to read about your times with your happily busy grandson, and your daughter and son-in-law. Alexine in MD

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    1. It warms me heart for the whole next week.

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  8. Andrew is so cute and adorable! Nothin better than being a proud Grandma. SO HAPPY you live driving distance. He is lucky to have such a super cool grandma!! God bless you and your sweet family oxx

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    1. I'm ever so grateful they moved back her last fall.

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  9. It is good that you are working together toward building a strong bridge with your Daughter and her family and how wonderful to have time with your Grandson. Knowing some of the why's in your life has opened another door. This happened in my larger family too. An adult son was diagnosed as you were, and with the new understanding of why, the perceptions of his siblings and friends changed (although he is still exactly who is was before the diagnosis) and they too are building their own bridges. Hugs.
    Joy

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    1. Oh, I wish the adult son well. It's so hard when no one understands you and you don't understand yourself.

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  10. So happy for you and your family. That boy is so cute, and how wonderful he loves to explore. Keep on enjoying him as well as your daughter and son-in-law. Sounds like he has both a mom and dad who love him. Also, glad you ventured out to drive there. Just think of how many out of your norm things you have done in the past two or three weeks. Good for you!

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    1. She emailed me the directions. I wrote them down. I only had a couple of turns though it was about five miles. Then I can't figure out less than three blocks.

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    2. Hey, don't beat yourself up about that. My subdivision is very hard to navigate even for people who come often. You have come so far - don't put yourself back. You will know next time, and if you don't so what. No one gets hurt. Laugh about it!

      Delete
  11. What an absolute sweetheart! Spring and Easter are all about renewal and new life, so I pray that this is just the beginning of your new life with your family. May you have many more gold star days!

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    1. Me too. I'm learning so many new things these days. And suddenly it doesn't seem as terribly complicated as it did before.

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  12. aw sounds like a wonderful day! So glad that you were able to spend time with Andrew and your daughter. Love the photos!
    Happy Easter!

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  13. Andrew's mother sounds like a wonderful person. It takes 2 to make a relationship, and sometimes you reach out and the other person doesn't reach back. And there's nothing you can do about it. There's someone in my life that I've tried to reach out to, but seems to not desire to reach back. The problem is, we're related. It's very hard for me. I want to have a good relationship with her, but she doesn't seem to want the same thing. It's not so much what she says, but how she acts. So I get what you're going through with your other daughter. Thank God, this daughter is open to you and is letting you into her life. That's a beautiful thing, isn't it?

    Happy Easter, Miss Brenda! <3

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  14. Andrew is a cutie!! I'm so glad to hear that you got to spend the day with him and your daughter. That's the way Easter should be.

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  15. BOTH are so fortunate to have you for their mother.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't think they'd agree. But what do I know? I never knew my mother.

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  16. HA if you think anyone sees a background with bags and leaves etc while that baby is in front you are wrong! :) XO

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    1. You're so sweet! He's quite the little character.

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  17. Brenda, you, your daughter and her husband have a handsome little man on your hands ! I'm so very glad that you're getting to have this time with him and his Mom and Dad.
    Maybe after you have been to his home a few times, it will be a "piece of cake" getting there. One of my friends used to look for a bird bath to know where to turn to get to my house.
    Andrew is so fortunate to have a Grandma who wants to teach him about nature, plants, birds, etc. Lots of kids don't get to know those things.
    I'm just tickled "pink" that things are going well for you. Keep building that strong bridge "over what used to be troubled waters".
    Hugs for happiness,
    Charlotte

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    1. Ah, one of my favorite songs by Simon and Garfunkel. Haven't heard it in a long time.

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  18. Adorable little Andrew, such a cutie! So happy for you Brenda, we can only do our part, hoping and praying.
    Happy Easter,
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right. Once our children are grown, we don't get a vote.

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  19. Your grandson is just precious!!! So happy you had this amazing day

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I always said I'd never be the blogger who shows endless photos of their grandchildren. Well...

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  20. Thanks for your happy post--I'm so glad you got to have more time with your little dynamo--he is just adorable! I have enjoyed seeing his darling picture in the sidebar ever since you put it there. Your daughter sounds like a wonderful person--best wishes for continued success in bridge-building!

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    1. With her as a mother, he will do fantastic.

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  21. Brenda!! I'm so happy that life is going in such a wonderful direction. It takes two and it sounds as if you and your daughter are on the same page with your renewed relationship and wanting it to be reestablished and meaningful. YEA!! Andrew is so precious and I know that as he grows he will be your little buddy in the garden learning about plants and nature. I can't wait for the next installment of cute pictures. Happy Easter!

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    1. And I can't wait to make our first fairy garden together.

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  22. Sounds like a perfect day! I hope you will continue to have many more! Despite the garbage bags...that picture of Andrew is adorable...love his expression! ;)

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    1. I can often manage to get the background to be less invasive, but this time garbage bags were just in the big middle of things.

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  23. ahhhh...so sweet little Andrew is! Hugs and keep building that bridge!

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    Replies
    1. Rome wasn't built in a day, was it? Neither is a bridge.

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  24. Brenda, this post makes me so happy for you. First of all your grandson is adorable! Oh once they get going they just don't stop...Tiger is like that and today he was hunting eggs but I could not get a good photo he moved so fast. But I loved seeing him strong and healthy and able to run around. Spending time with Andrew is so healing and then one on one with your daughter....wonderful. The bridge can be built and taking your time doing so is making it strong! I think you did well to get yourself to her house, many people get lost driving even with directions. You got there! I hope you had a good day with the pupsters and your warm feelings of family love.
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. Thanks Linda. I know how devoted you are to Tiger. I've always envied you that.

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  25. Have you considered that your daughter learned how to parent lovingly from her own mother? Congrats for a job welldone! Maybe you could schedule a joint lunch with Baby and two daughters?

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    1. I would. But the older daughter isn't interested. Said she has enough going on in her life.

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  26. Brenda,I don't think anyone would of notice that black bag we were to engrossed in Andrew! He is a cutie and his "aura" is full of energy and happiness. Oh how sweet it would of been for us to have had this. but it must be heart warming to know you grandchild does. I'm so happy for your bridge with you daughter, for the other one it's her shortcomings, not yours.

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    1. He's just so sweet and happy you can't stop smiling at him!

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  27. I am so happy for you! This child is adorable.

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  28. He is a cutie. I live that smile.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Think that smile will make the girls swoon some day?

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  29. I so enjoyed your message today. Brought happy tears to my eyes. What a very Happy Easter you had with your delightful family...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to feel pure joy.

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  30. Andrew radiates joy and happiness. He's beautiful through and through. I just want to kiss that close up photo!
    Once the why's are out on the table I think you will find bridges will mend themselves. People, kids, especially, tend to see situations in terms of themselves. Maybe your daughters saw your differetness as a response to something they did wrong or that they failed to live up to your expectations in some way. It may be liberating for them to know it was Autism Spectrum rather than something they'd done. One of my childhood friends dad ( our dentist) was a manic depressive. She and her sister grew up thinking that if they were, smarter, prettier, more accomplished their dad wouldn't act the way he did. They felt they must be doing something wrong. It was really tough for them to believe the fault didn't lie with them, even as adults.
    Oh by the way, my mum got lost all the time. Even going places she'd gone for 20 years! Her sister was even worse. Someone said Mum and her sis got so involved in the driving process ( and not running anyone over) that they didn't pay attention to the surrounds.

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    1. I've always been this way. My daughter drew the directions for next time.

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  31. Things are getting better for you each day and I truly believe that Andrew is the bridge back to the family you have always wanted. Could not be happier for you!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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    1. A sweet little boy who builds a bridge of happiness. I like the thought of that.

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  32. Brenda, I am so happy and thankful for you! The pictures and the story you shared is beautiful. So glad you had a wonderful visit with your family. You are so blessed..

    Take care.
    Emily

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  33. Didn't notice the garbage bags, cute little Andrew steals the show!
    Family...a, soft wonderful word.

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    1. I would have put that word in my notebook. It is a soft word, as you said, and has a nice melody when saying it slowly.

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  34. What a darling little boy! I am so happy for you, and your daughter, and pray the bridge will be complete soon. I also pray the other daughter will see what is transpiring between you two and decided she wants some of that, as well!

    Grace & Peace
    Pam

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  35. Oh Brenda that is wonderful! I wish for a world where families are close and love one another despite faults, failures and differences. Everyone should be loved by their own flesh and blood. It hurts when we're not.

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  36. Brenda, Loved the accounting of your time with Andrew and your daughter. He is just too cute and all boy, only two speeds: stop and go! I could just envision you and your daughter enjoying lunch and your time together. I'm sure she is enjoying this just as much as you. His pictures are just too cute.

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    1. He's not like Abi, posing for me. But I get the occasional good photo of him!

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  37. Having a little toddler around again is like hopping back on that bike! You are doing fine and I'm so glad you have this opportunity. He is so darn cue. And I am so happy you and your daughter are building a stronger relationship.

    Perhaps she will let Andrew sit...or she and her husband and Andrew sit for a portrait...your photography skills are phenomenal.


    Jane x

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    Replies
    1. I keep telling them they don't need to hire photographers. I would be perfectly happy to do it free.

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  38. Your grandson is adorable!! So happy for you that your daughter and you are spending time together.
    ~Cindy

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    1. I remember as a young woman, I would be out and about, maybe on Mother's Day. And I'd catch a glimpse of a young woman with an older version sitting at a table eating. I was so filled with wonder. I wanted that so badly. I didn't have a mother to do that with. And so now I'm on the other side.

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  39. Little Andrew is adorable. I remember that age where they are constantly in motion. The world is just such an interesting place to discover, they don't have any time to sit in anyone's lap or be held! Most of all, I am so glad that you and your daughter are spending time together and slowly building a relationship.

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    1. Since I had girls, I see that little boys are very different. They are all business. There's no getting their attention for more than a few seconds.

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  40. And to think there was a time you thought you wouldn't be a part of your grandson's life. Miracles can and do happen, and heaven knows you were due for one, Children have a way of building bridges. That's part of what makes them so special. This is good. Very, very good, and I couldn't be happier for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Doreen. I seem to be cry-happy these days. When I think about it, a few tears do slip out. Because I missed this. I needed this.

      Delete
  41. Such a handsome little guy! So happy you are able to build a strong relationship with him and your daughter. What a blessing those little ones are.

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    1. If something that precious can't help build a bridge, then I don't know what can.

      Delete
  42. this is so wonderful Brenda, I'm thrilled that you and your daughter are building a strong bond. And I know having Andrew in your life must must be like icing on the cake. He's just adorable, what a little man he is! I'm so happy your doing better getting around. Sending a big hug your way!!

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    Replies
    1. I did too much last week, going out three days in a row. So I was back in the boot. But I just have to learn to pace myself better.

      Delete
  43. I didn't see trash bags. All I saw was a super cute boy with such a look of happiness on his sweet little face! I'm so happy to read about your special day with your family. Your photos and story put a smile on my face!

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  44. Thank-you for sharing that sweet little face with us! I have to be honest with you; I hadn't even noticed the garbage bags fill of whatever. I was too focused on Andrew. After reading your comment, I had to go and have a second look to see what you were talking about. We were all focused on the little guy, just like you were when you were trying to get a shot of him. With his flying feet you're going to have to use sport mode to even catch him!

    I'm not even a grandma but I loved the pictures. I love kids which I guess is why I teach.

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    1. Sport mode! I forgot all about that setting. Thank you!

      Delete
  45. So happy to read this wonderful post, dear Brenda. Little Andrew is adorable, and it is so good to hear you are spending precious time with him......and precious time with your daughter too. So happy for you all.
    Helen xox

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    1. Helen, you live in a world so full of color and beauty, I imagine your life as perfect over there across the pond. But I know everyone's life is filled with hardships, even beautiful ones with cute little bunnies and quilts.

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  46. I'm so happy for you. I love how you talk about Andrew and his mother. Andrew is a lucky baby to have his grandma in his life. Happy hugs.

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    1. Unfortunately, his father's mother died of pancreatic cancer some years ago. I know she would have loved to see this precious child, who looks in many ways like her. I know Andrew's dad would give anything for that. Andrew is named after both his grandfathers. Andrew Theo.

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  47. I didn't read the comments so maybe someone else said this. Why don't you put a gold star on the calendar? I think that would be awesome. When Andrew gets older, you can show him the pages with all the gold stars and explain why you put stars on some of the days. He will love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do they actually still sell those? I'll have to look in the store!

      Delete
  48. So happy you had a nice day with your family. Good things come to those who wait.

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    Replies
    1. You're right. And I sure did some waiting.

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  49. He is so darn cute and I am sure he keeps his mother on her toes with his energy. I am so happy for you and your family! I remember my mom having to lock the upper cabinets in our kitchen when my brother was about 4. He would climb and climb and climb seeking those hidden cookies or ding dongs she used to buy us! He was a handful...I remember that...all boy.

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    1. I told his mother that she should count on chasing him for the next 17 years.

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  50. This is a wonderful thing to read, full of joy and happiness running over. It made my heart sing just to read it.
    Hooray for family love!

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  51. I've been smiling foolishly while reading this, my heart full of joy for you, Brenda. I'm so happy for you and for your dreams. It is a beautiful thing to picture your happiness watching Andrew being this busy, content, trusting, and well loved little boy. And to hear about the girl times you and your daughter are having, a friendship growing stronger and stronger. I know you will have many happy times ahead together and you will get to teach Andrew about the birds you love and he will teach you so many things, maybe rooting him on from the bleachers while he plays sports or sitting in a chair applauding him in as he plays a musical instrument, and of course, reading to him from a new book. So many wondrous things ahead!

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    1. I am happy to watch him learn all about the world and all that it holds for him.

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  52. I am so happy you and your daughter are spending time together and that your getting to watch this little cutie grow!! Happy times for sure!

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    1. Martina, I don't think it gets much better than this.

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  53. That little grandson of yours is so adorable! I'm so glad you're getting to spend time with him and your daughter :)

    xo

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  54. Andrew will open a whole new world for you! He is a doll...and you all will have to fight off all the cute little girls who want him for a boyfriend. Ha! Wonderful to hear that bridges are being built. Step by step! Sheila

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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