I don't know why but I just thought about the commercial where the grandparents arrive to visit the twin babies and the parents rush out with their suitcases while the grandfather drones, "don't leave us with the babies....". Visiting Ollie was NOT like that but we definitely all took turns bouncing, singing, walking outside, cuddling and developing our own recipe for soothing him. Cody said that he had been doing that bouncing comfort move so much that he found himself in Wendy's shaking his chicken sandwich up and down. I find myself randomly rocking from side to side whenever I'm standing up. After 21 years of no babies, I now have two babies and it still blows my mind! I use basically the same method of calming both Cosette and Oliver which is... swaddle their legs, hold them where their tummy is facing in toward my tummy and hold the paci in their mouth. This method only works if they're not hungry or in need of a change. My mom has a few tricks up her sleeve as well but the one that worked best was buying Ollie a swing!
Having Irish Grandtwins carries a little bit of the same panic for me. It's so important to me that both babies know me and know how much I love them. It's important (probably more important here at first) that both sets of parents know how much I love their baby and that they feel supported and encouraged by me. I want to give the same amount of attention to both but the hard truth of the matter is that one baby is a few miles up the road and the other baby is a hundred miles away and I don't travel well.
Respecting the difficulty of the journey made me want to soak up every drop of Ollie-love that I could while I was there. By the time we left on Friday I was one big bag of hurt. I'm still worn out - worn out enough that I had to postpone my usual weekly Cosette cuddle session today. I just don't bounce back like I want to. Factor in a round of Evil Gut Pain combined with a few arthritis flaring rainy days and... you've got a Two Naps A Day Nana situation.
I could (and do) hold both of them past my comfort level because I just want to soak up as much of them as I possibly can! Both prefer being held up in a vertical position rather than being cradled in a horizontal way. Both have mine/their dads' lips and chin and you would think they are the fitting image of their fathers until you see their moms! Cosette looks a lot like Tasha and Oliver is Marquee Jr! They are both absolutely adorable and I love them so very much.
|Oliver sitting propped up on Nana|
|Cosette and her doll, Eponine.|
It's scary. My nephew Caleb and my niece Jamie are about the same distance apart as Cosette and Oliver. Their first photos together were when they were a year / nine months old. I took dozens of pictures of the two of them together and was soooo looking forward to watching them grow up together. But my brother has been estranged from our family since Caleb and Jamie were around 3 years old and I doubt either one remembers the other. I watch Jamie and try to imagine what Caleb is like now and grieve the loss of him and his siblings even still.
The bottom line is that love carries a risk, whether it's romantic love or the love you have for your family or the love you have for your friends. There's a saying that "to be a mom is to have your heart walking around outside of your body." Being a grandmother takes that to the next degree. I'm not a control freak but there is so much anxiety for me in not having any control over the lives of these babies. I mean, I am quick to suggest things when Cosette or Oliver are upset but I do try to defer to their parents' preferences for things like what I post on social media and - well, everything! I'm pushing myself beyond my physical comfort zone to spend time with them. I'm also putting myself beyond my emotional comfort zone by loving them as much as I do. I've lost a lot in my life and I'm reluctant to develop or trust in relationships any more. Loving these kids makes me feel so vulnerable! Wanting them to know and love each other feels like the best legacy I can leave for them. No matter what the future holds for all of us, I hope they will find their way here and know how much I love and treasure them both from the very beginning.
Tasha told Cosette she was mailing her to Nana's and Cosette smiled... didn't quite catch the magic moment but still! Baby girl loves her Nana! She also loves her feet which she has just discovered.
Life as the Nana of two babies is beautiful beyond what I could have imagined and much more scary than I ever anticipated. I'd love to hear from those of you who are grandparents if you wouldn't mind sharing if you had the same kind of anxiety/delight that I'm feeling. Thanks for reading here. I've been working on this blog post for three hours so I'm gonna go watch some youtube videos and eat my italian ice. Love and hugs, y'all!