October 5, 2003
So Much Love
There is so much love in our family.
I'm sitting here and staring at that sentence, and letting the significance of it sink in. In my lifetime, in my past, I've had to say to myself, "Well, of course we love each other." As if I'm trying to remind myself. Or convince myself. But now, in this family and this life that I'm currently blessed with, there is SO MUCH love, it's palpable. It's obvious - to us, and to the people that know us. It's present in every word, every action, every look. It surrounds us when we're laughing and talking all over each other. It hums in the silences shared between us. It's present during the arguments and disagreements we occasionally have. It's so encompassing that it becomes larger and more firmly entrenched between us with each passing day. It's so fulfilling that it frightens us, and the risk and devastation of possible loss dwells heavily and constantly on our minds.
I find myself writing carefully - sometimes the responsibility I feel upon myself to exactly capture the moments and memories of our lives feels too large for my humble qualifications.
My heart is full. These past two weeks have served to take our family relationships to a transcendent level. With the birth of Lilly and Michael's little Anthony on the 23rd, and the time we've all been able to spend with each other since then, it's like we've tapped unknown and uncharted wells of deep affection. We've come upon the ability to cherish far beyond the capacity we've ever experienced before.
I'm petrified and ecstatic at the same time.
Lilly went into labor on Monday night, the 22nd. Michael called us to say they were on the way to the hospital, so we spent the evening in anxious anticipation and gave updates to all the relatives. The phone conversation I had with Michael the next morning when Anthony was born is something I'll never forget, and hold as one of my most cherished memories.
"Hey." Deep, shuddering breath.
"Oh, baby, is he here?"
"We did it." Michael broke down and started to cry.
"Is he beautiful? Is he perfect?"
"Oh, Laura, he's incredible. He's so beautiful."
"She's great, she's beautiful. She was so amazing. She was incredibly strong."
"Oh, baby." Now I'm crying. "I'm so proud of you both. My GOD, I wish we were there with you."
"I know, I do too."
"We love you so much, baby. So much."
"We love you too, Laura."
"I'm going to try so hard to be a good Grandma. To live up to my own Grandma's example."
"Don't worry, you'll be great. You'll have no problem with that."
"Oh, sweetie, we love you both so much. We're so PROUD of you."
"I just can't believe it."
"He's healthy? Everything's fine?"
"He's perfect. He's so beautiful. Eight pounds one ounce, nineteen and a half inches."
"What time was he born?"
"7:26. She was pushing for a long time."
"Was she in pain?"
"Not much, she took the drugs so she wasn't in too much pain."
"We'll come out, right away. Do you want us to come out this weekend?"
"Of course. Get here as soon as you can."
"This weekend. I'll make the arrangements. Oh, sweetie, I know you have a ton of phone calls to make so I won't keep you. We're just so happy for you!"
"Love you, Laura. I'll call Mom, if you'll take care of calling the rest of the relatives."
"Of course. Oh, baby, I really envy you this experience you're having."
"It's the most amazing thing. I can't believe it."
"Give our love to Lilly, and kiss that sweet baby for us."
"I will. I'll call you guys later."
"Love you, baby."
"Love you too."
I called Calvin right away.
"Hi, baby, did I get you at a bad time?"
"No, what's up?"
"You're a Grandpa!"
"Robert Anthony was born at 7:26, weighing in at 8 pounds 1 ounce, and measuring 19 1/2 inches."
"Fantastic! Everyone okay? Everyone healthy?"
"Lilly and the baby are both fine."
"Man, I wish I'd gotten the chance to talk to Michael."
"I know, me too. He said he'd call later."
"Okay, good. Is he calling everyone?"
"I said I'd make the calls to the relatives. He's calling his mom. I'm making the arrangements for us to go out there this weekend."
"Cool. I've got Friday and Monday off. Just let me know later what you work out. Are you calling Marie?"
"I told her to call me between classes so I could keep her updated."
"Okay, I've gotta run because I'm in a meeting, but call me later."
"I will. Love you, baby!"
Marie called my desk at quarter to nine.
"Well? Did he call?"
"Yep! Robert Anthony was born at 7:26, weighing in at 8 pounds 1 ounce, and measuring 19 1/2 inches. You're an aunt!"
Earsplitting shriek on the other end. "Everybody around me is going, "What? What?" Now my entire second period knows, too!"
"Hee! Everyone's fine and healthy. We're going out there this weekend."
"Wait, what were the measurements and stuff again? I need to write it down."
I repeated them. "Make sure you tell your teachers you're going to be gone Friday and Monday."
"A new baby and a long weekend? Cool!"
Suffice to say, I was useless at work that day. I had the silliest grin on my face, except for the times when I was bawling in my cubicle. My co-workers probably didn't know what to make of me. I made hotel arrangements right away, and my boss was exceedingly kind in her suggestion that in addition to taking that Friday and the following Monday off, I should work half days for the entire next week, while "the kids" were visiting us. The plan was to drive out Friday morning (after Calvin dealt with court for a speeding ticket he got - heh). We'd hang with them until Saturday or Sunday, and if Lilly was feeling up to it we'd all drive back to Arizona together. I was torn between concern that she'd want to travel so soon after having the baby, and wanting to get them home so that we could cherish them all and take care of them.
We cleaned out Michael's room and dismantled the stereo, which we were planning on loading up in the truck and taking to them to set up in their apartment. We moved the furniture around and bought a Pack-n-Play (they call 'em travel yards nowadays - when I was little it was a playpen with an attached bassinet) for the baby to sleep in. Once everything was cleaned and arranged, Calvin, Marie and I just sort of hung around in the room, enjoying the coziness.
We talked to Michael several more times - he was popping at the seams with pride and excitement. I got the chance to talk to Lilly once or twice, but she was understandably exhausted and trying to get herself adjusted to new mommy-hood. They left the hospital on Thursday - everyone was healthy and the baby took to nursing right away.
Friday morning rolled around, and after working out (me), court (Calvin), and loading up the truck (all of us), we left at about noon. We made arrangements with Calvin's mom to feed the dogs while we were away, and left big bowls of food and water for Oz (praying that he wouldn't destroy the house in the two or three days we'd be gone). After a quick stop for lunch at Jack in the Box, we got on the road for the long and tedious drive. Highway 8 between Arizona and California has got to be the most boring drive in existence. Nothing but dirt, desert, dunes, and rocks. We loaded up on snacks and CD's, but really there's not much that will make that drive entertaining, except for each other's excellent company.
We made really good time, making a quick stop in Yuma for gas, and at a rest stop for the necessary. Then we made the transition to Highway 805/5 in San Diego. In keeping with our luck, we hit town just at rush-hour. It took us an hour and a half to get through the final 30 or so miles into Oceanside. I think what jinxed us was calling and talking to Lilly as we made the transition, and telling her, "Yeah, we'll be at the hotel in, oh, 20 or 30 minutes." Calvin was in a right impatient mood when we finally pulled up to the hotel lobby just after 7:00 - traffic jams don't sit well with very many drivers, after all.
Word to the wise - Do Not stay at the Best Western Oceanside Inn. What a hole. And that's all I have to say about that.
We got settled in our hotel room (such as it was), and called Michael to meet us there and lead us back to their apartment. We hung out on the little patio outside our first-floor room, and Michael pulled around the corner after about 20 minutes. There were the hoorays and hugs and hi's, and the hopping up and down and talking all over each other. We bailed right away, with Marie riding with Michael, and Calvin and I following behind. It was so funny to watch their animated conversation as we drove behind them. Neither one of them can talk without using their entire bodies for emphasis. They've always been exceptionally close, and Marie just lights right up when she gets to see her brother.
The kids' apartment was only ten minutes away from our hotel. Their complex is in what seems to be a quite nice neighborhood, certainly a much nicer place than what my first apartment was like when I moved to Arizona. Michael showed us where to park, but first Calvin backed the truck up in the point nearest to their apartment door, so he and Michael could unload the stereo and the MOUNTAINS of diapers that Calvin's youngest sister had us deliver to them.
I was hard-pressed to sit patiently in the truck while Calvin maneuvered - I just wanted to jump out and leave it to him so I could go see the baby. But I waited - he's Grandpa, after all, and we should see the baby for the first time together. As Calvin and I walked up to their door, Michael came walking out toward us, carrying Anthony.
I thought my heart was already swelled fit to burst, but when I saw that sweet little face I realized it still had plenty of room to grow. As I told Michael and Lilly later, love at first sight has only happened to me twice in my life. The first time, with Calvin. The second time, with Anthony.
I watched Calvin's face (as I did a lot in the days following), and it looked like it was lit up from within, as he made his grandson's acquaintance. Marie was smiling so wide her cheeks must have hurt - she mirrored my own expression. We all hovered around Michael, who was carrying himself in a much different way than I've ever seen in him. Taller. Older. There's a stillness in him that wasn't there before. It was bittersweet, observing this young man that we know so well, and yet don't know at all.
We went inside and Lilly came out of the bedroom. I hugged her close to me - the poor thing looked so tired, yet so elated - and a little shy. It was only the second occasion that I had to be with Lilly in person, and yet I felt so close to her already. All the e-mail chains and phone conversations we had together went a long way toward helping us get to know each other - in person, I just love her all the more.
Lilly, Marie, and I sat together on the couch with the baby, giggling over their cat's antics while Calvin and Michael unloaded the truck and set up the stereo. Somehow, time just seems to stand still when I'm looking at that little boy - it was a phenomena I experienced a lot over the next week. Just watching the play of expressions over his little face - the movements of his cheeks and lips, the fluttering of his eyes, the stirrings of his arms and legs, his tiny hands opening and closing and grasping - it's entrancing.
Lilly was wonderfully generous with us all over the next week, letting us hold the baby whenever we wanted and being patient with our myriad of photo and video requests. That evening, as I held Anthony for the first time, I just couldn't understand how she found it possible to put him down at all. I breathed in the scent of his hair, and stroked the soft roundness of his face, and just loved that little boy to the depths of my heart. I saw Marie looking on, and rejoiced in the gentleness that came over her face as I handed the baby off to her. She showed herself to be so wonderful and competent with the baby, that night and the whole time they visited with us, that I just know she's going to make a wonderful mother some day.
We visited for a bit, and then Lilly declared that she was hungry and wanted to get the heck out of the apartment. We loaded up and followed Michael's car over to a nearby Chili's, where we proceeded to have a hilarious and typical meal. Lilly shook as she laughed, breathlessly ow-ing asking us not to make her laugh so hard. We slid easily back into our family relationship - despite the distance and time spent apart, normalcy returns immediatly, as always. It just felt so right for the six of us to all be together. We've missed Michael horribly since he left for boot camp so long ago, and since meeting Lilly in February we've immediately put her into our heart's keeping, as well. Now, with Anthony's arrival, we've come to the full realization of how hard it has been for us to be apart from them all.
We were all wilting as dinner came to a close - Michael followed us to our hotel to get Marie's belongings, so she could spend the night with them. They left, and Calvin and I just sat on the bed and looked at each other, nearly overwhelmed with it all.
Calvin and I slept in the next morning until about 8:30, then got ourselves together and went to I-HOP for breakfast (Crepes! Why have I never had crepes before?!?). We wanted to give the kids plenty of time to rest and sleep in before we descended on them again. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and got our caffeine fix, talking about the children and the future, our lives and relationships with one another. We finally figured they'd had enough time to sleep (heh), and called them a bit after eleven. There was no answer, but as soon as I hung up, a sleepy-sounding Michael was calling us back. We found their apartment again with no trouble, but had to knock on the door three or four times before we were let in. Marie was unconscious on the couch, Michael was looking rather rumpled, and Lilly and the baby were asleep in the bedroom.
They have a very cute teacup of an apartment - a nice little place that they're having to pay typical California prices for. We levered Marie off the couch to go shower up, and quietly visited - I watched TV while Calvin helped Michael deal with some computer problems. Lilly and the baby got up after a time, and we just sat and relaxed for a few hours. I took a myriad of photos and annoyed everyone with the video camera. Calvin fed Anthony at one point, and I was just transfixed with watching him. To me, there is nothing more sexy, appealing, and heart warming than watching a man with a tiny baby. And this was a role that I'd never had the opportunity to observe Calvin in, before.
My love for that man just continues to grow.
Michael and Lilly were still exhausted, and Marie was complaining of hunger. So Calvin, Marie and I left the kids to rest while we went off in search of food and entertainment for the afternoon. We decided to try to find the ocean, which Calvin figured to be 45 minutes away. I, however, spotted a roadsign indicating the direction of the beach and convinced Calvin that I did, indeed, know what I was talking about. The town was called "Oceanside", after all.
Five minutes later, we were staring at the ocean. I'm right so infrequently, I just have to rub it in once in a while. Calvin claimed that he got himself "turned around". Heh.
It took us a while to find parking, as Van's was hosting a triple crown event of skateboarding, motocross, and BMX biking. Marie's head was turning every which way, gawking at "her" type of boys. We made our way through the crowd toward the pier, pausing every now and then to watch the events.
We ate at Ruby's, at the end of the pier. We started slowing waaay down as we finished the meal - the walk back to the front of the pier seemed a lot longer on the way back. We wandered among the events for a little while, but as time went on, a nap seemed more and more appealing. We headed back to the hotel and pretty much passed out right away.
Three hours later (!!), Michael called our cell and got us all up out of bed. We were amazingly refreshed and energetic as we got ourselves ready and went to meet them at a nearby Chinese restaurant. Michael, Lilly and the baby were there ahead of us, visible inside the restaurant from the parking lot. They started laughing at us as Calvin had to approach and re-approach the parking space in order to get the truck straightened - really, the thing has no turning radius to speak of.
We got ourselves loaded up with food from the buffet, and had ourselves another meal full of laughter and hilarious conversation. We were all feeling so good that we decided to leave that very night and make the trip back to Arizona, instead of waiting until the morning. After making absolutely sure that Lilly was up for the trip, we parted ways so that Michael and Lilly could pack. We got back on the road (after a brief mix-up while looking for a convenience store to load up on munchies) at about 10:30, us in the lead, Michael and Lilly following.
If making the drive during the day is boring, making the drive at night when you can't even gaze at the unchanging scenery is doubly so. We changed from CD to CD to CD, grooving our way back home to Boogie Shoes, White Wedding, In the Air Tonight, Sunrise, and our Techno/Rap mix CD's. Marie and I napped a little, and we stopped a couple of times to tend to Anthony, stock up on gas and munchies, and do the necessary. It is DAMN eerie to be at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere - and I mean NOWHERE - at 2:00 in the morning. Marie made a beeline to the bathroom as soon as we stopped, and I rushed after her, not wanting her to go alone. We came back and Lilly started off toward the bathroom - I followed her, too, and waited until she was done so that she didn't have to walk alone, either. There was a lot of laughter and cheer as we hovered near the cars and tended to the baby's needs - the other folks at the rest stop were regarding us with expressions that said we shouldn't be so cheery at that time in the morning.
After a slight misdirection that put us on the opposite end of town than we wanted to be, we finally got home at 4:30 Sunday morning. We got Michael and Lilly settled into their room, and fell into bed.
Calvin and I got up again at about 10:30 - the rest of the household stirred somewhat later. First thing on the agenda was heading to Calvin's mom's restaurant for the food we were craving, and introductions to the baby. We got there just as they were closing, and were going to just stop and say hi before finding another place for lunch, but they insisted that we stay and eat. There were exclamations and tears as Calvin's mom and youngest sister (who works at the restaurant on weekends) coo'ed over the baby. Things got noisy as we spread out in the dining room and were joined by Calvin's step-dad and nieces. I took some more pictures and video (I know, it was probably getting nauseating at this point), and wolfed the reuben I had been craving for weeks.
We headed back home, and Michael and Lilly went on to visit with X(f). Calvin and I spent the afternoon buying yard maintenance equipment at Home Depot (a horrifyingly grown-up experience, buying a lawnmower), and getting supplies at the grocery store. The kids came back home, and Calvin made his fantastic Chicken Marsala for dinner. All of us were still pretty tired from the trip, so we made it an early evening.
Lilly was eager to go clothes shopping on Monday, mourning the fact that she didn't have anything but a couple of outfits to fit into. Marie went to hang with friends, and Michael hooked up with a high school buddy of his. Calvin, bless him, did ALL of the yard work by himself while Lilly and I took the baby and went to Babies R Us and Mervyn's. We struggled a bit trying to figure out how to open up the stroller, both of us laughing at ourselves at our ineptitude. Anthony slept nearly the entire time, as we exclaimed over tiny baby outfits and the beautiful furniture in Babies R Us. We picked up some more bottles, baby lotion, a couple of outfits and bibs, and some other necessities. We struggled again to get the stroller closed, then just gave it up as a bad idea when we couldn't get it opened again in the Mervyn's parking lot. Lilly groaned over the size of the clothes she had to buy (Not even a week after giving birth! She was too hard on herself.), and Anthony awoke just once to give voice to his hunger.
I had such a lovely time, spending some good bonding time with Lilly. There really is nothing about that girl that I don't like - she feels more like a sister or best friend than a daughter-in-law. Granted, I'm only ten years older than her. But I feel the same easy and warm relationship with her that I appreciate so much in Marie. We thank our lucky stars that Michael fell in love with such a wonderful person!
That evening after dinner, Michael, Lilly, and Marie went out to the movies and left Calvin and I to babysit. For three hours we sat on the couch, taking turns holding and admiring Anthony. He was awake for much of the time, and we were both so entranced with him that we ignored what was on TV. I spent much of the time with my lips pressed against his hair, breathing in his sweet baby smell and feeling my adoration for him grow. Calvin fed and changed him like the pro that he his, and I admired anew the gentle expertise he exhibited. Whenever Calvin held Anthony, I spend more time looking at his face than at the baby. An undescribable expression comes over his face - gentleness mixed with awe and love, melancholy and joy.
My grandmother used to call me Cookie when I was little (hell, after I was grown, too), and I found myself calling Anthony that, automatically. Sometimes we revised it to "Cookie Monster", since his newborn eyes seemed to move in independent directions, sometimes. There was also Angel Love, Little Pet, and Michael always says, "Come here, stud," when he picks the baby up. Anthony is such a sweet, sweet little guy. He really seems to only cry when there's a reason - he needs to be changed, or fed, or burped. The rest of the time he's content to sleep, or sit and let his eyes wander around, making that little chirping noise of his. Sometimes his eyes would latch onto the person's eyes who was holding him, and he'd get the most concentrating look on his face, like he was studying. He eats a LOT! Every time he'd make the little bird-like motion with his mouth, toward the finger gently brushing his cheek, we'd exclaim, "Little piggy!" or "Hungry hungry hippo!" I was so glad when Lilly told me how comfortable she felt in our home - not awkward at all when she had to nurse the baby, happy to be able to just relax and watch TV, or go upstairs and take a nap whenever she felt the need. She improved by leaps and bounds each day, becoming more and more mobile, and thinning down at an astonishing pace.
Anthony looks a lot like Lilly, with her lips and thick dark hair and beautiful skin tone. He has plenty of things that he gets from Michael, as well. His ears (which are the same ears that Michael and Marie got from Calvin), his feet, the way he sleeps with one arm thrown over his head. The dark gray of his eyes already began to lighten as the week progressed, and we saw so many changes in him in just that short time, we really mourned the thought of everything we were going to miss between times that we'd get to see him.
Every afternoon and evening last week, I got to spend a lot of time with Michael, Lilly, and the baby. A couple of days it was just Lilly and I for several hours, and we always had such wonderful conversations. Really, we seem to never run out of topics - which isn't a problem that tends to plague any of the members of our family, really. Then Marie would get home at about 2:30 (except for Tuesday when I had to take the poor thing to the dentist to get two teeth pulled - the stupid guy let her develop an overbite during the course of her braces), and Calvin would get home usually by 4:00. We spent a lot of time just hanging around, talking. After all these months of missing out on family time with all of us there, we fully enjoyed the ability to re-bond with one another. We always seemed to be laughing about something. Michael's friend stopped by a few times to hang out, as did some of Marie's friends, and we were delighted to get a Heather fix as well. She brought over the most ADORABLE baby Halloween costumes - I shall be very put out with Michael and Lilly if they don't take pictures of the baby if they dress him up.
At one point, Lilly was talking to her father on the phone, and handed the phone off to Calvin. Calvin had a long and pleasant conversation with him (we've never met Lilly's family before), and assured him that yes, everything was fine, and no, the kids weren't hiding some unpleasant truth.
We had Calvin's side of the family over for a little get-together on Tuesday night. As Calvin's mom pointed out, we had five generations of family present at the time. So we did the required five-generation family photo to commemorate the occasion. It was really nice to have everyone in the same spot - we usually only do it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Calvin's birthday was the next day, and his mother presented him with a "gift" of a striped polyester shirt and matching baby blue polyester jacket, his new "wardrobe" for turning 40.
Wednesday afternoon Michael took Anthony and Marie over to X(f)'s house while Lilly stayed home and got some much-needed rest. She seemed immensely refreshed when everyone was home again and she joined us for dinner. Since Wednesday was Calvin's birthday, we'd thought to go out to eat. But everyone felt like just staying home, so we ordered some wings and chicken fingers from Teakwoods and stayed in our jammies. We watched the season premiere of King of Queens, and I presented Calvin with his birthday presents.
I'd really wanted to make much of Calvin for his birthday, but he really doesn't like being the center of attention. Since I'd asked him multiple times what he wanted to do, and he kept saying he just wanted to have a quiet evening, well, that's exactly what we did! I mean, who am I to force Calvin to have a big ol' party, when that's not how he wants to spend his birthday? So we just sat around in the living room, and I brought the two big boxes over to him. One contained a new black, lightweight, padded motorcycle jacket - light enough to not smother him in the Arizona heat, but still good protection. The other box contained a new helmet, with yellow detailing that matches his motorcycle. Earlier in the week, we'd received the first installment of his third present - a three-month subscription to the Beer of the Month Club.
I have a picture of him on the bike wearing his new helmet, but I've gotta get the film developed. I'll scan 'em, though (along with forty million more baby pictures).
Thursday evening Michael, Lilly, Anthony, and Marie went back over to X(f)'s house to have dinner. Calvin and I relaxed in front of Must See TV and gave each other foot rubs. The kids were back a little after nine and we all watched the season premiere of ER together. Then Friday, after Calvin came home from work, we all went out to see "Underworld". It was the third time for Michael (the second time for Lilly and Marie), having seen it at the beginning of the week when they had us babysit, and then with his mom when he visited with her one afternoon. I thought the movie was pretty good, but not good enough to pay theater prices three times in one week!
Saturday was the kids' last day with us. Calvin took Michael on a quick motorcycle ride to go pick the truck up from the shop (it had developed some kind of metallic grinding noise when accelerating from halted through first gear, and we'd never noticed it before. The service guy said it was "normal", though. We'll see.). We ordered a pizza and soaked up as much of their visit as we could in the last few hours. I held Anthony for quite some time, heartbroken that it would be months before I could smell his hair again, and the next time we'd see him, he'd be so changed.
We dug out the old family photographs, featuring Michael and Marie when they were little. Lilly did a lot of gasping over the similarities between Michael and the pictures of Calvin when he was Michael's age. There was a lot of teasing about 80's fashions. Then we got out the home videos, and watched a baby Marie rolling around on the floor and kicking in the tub, and a six year old Michael making wuvvy duvvy smoochy noises at his baby sister. Michael at Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland, and a slightly older Michael and Marie at Christmas ("This is the best Christmas a boy could ever have!").
Michael declared that they were leaving at 3:00 to make the drive back to California. But 3:00 turned to 4:00, and 4:00 turned to 5:00 before he finally said they could stay no longer.
As Michael, Marie, and Lilly were in Marie's bedroom burning a CD for their drive back, Calvin put Anthony in his carrier on the table and pulled a chair up in front of him. I stood behind him, kneading his shoulders and resting my chin on his head, gazing with him at the baby. He kept tipping the carrier back to shine the dimmed light from overhead onto his face, studying the details. We didn't speak, just stared and sighed. Then the others came trooping down the stairs, and the fact that it was the moment to say goodbye hit me really hard. I started crying, and Marie and Lilly put their arms around me. Then Marie started crying. Michael gave us a quick, hard hug (he's not one for drawn out, emotional goodbyes), and took the baby out to the car. Marie and I trailed behind, sniffling.
We exchanged one last round of hugs in the driveway, and Marie, Calvin and I stood with our arms around each other, watching them drive away.
Then I went into the living room, Marie went up to her bedroom, Calvin went into the bathroom, and we all cried. Then I went into the bathroom and cried with Calvin. Then Calvin and I went up to Marie's bedroom to make sure she was alright. Because goodbyes suck, and we should all live near each other and see one another all the time.
Michael and Lilly say they're hoping to make it home for Thanksgiving, but they're going to try to go home to Lilly's parents for Christmas. We don't want to be selfish with their time, and we certainly don't want to make them feel like their being pulled in two different directions. But, well, Christmas just won't be the same. But! It means we'll probably do the lobster at Thanksgiving instead (hang tradition).
So. We were pretty darned mopey yesterday evening after the kids left. So we cured it the best way we know how - went to Hollywood Video for a couple of movies, and stopped off at the grocery store for vanilla ice cream and frozen berries. We stayed up until after 1:00 in the morning, watching movies and being together. Michael called not long after we went into the bedroom, to say they'd made it home alright.
I just wish with all my heart that home was here, and not in California. We had such a wonderful visit. We're so proud of them both, and they way they handle their newly assumed parenthood. Moving them right back into Michael's old room and having them live with us wouldn't be a heartbreak at all. Or maybe we can convince our neighbors to sell their house to them.
I can tell right now that we're going to be the sort of parents that are constantly pestering their kids for pictures and visits. Except that it won't effect Marie, since she claims she's never moving away anyway.
And that's the way we like it.
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