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.