THE BLISS OF BEING GRANDMÈRE
The week before Christmas I tidy up Hyde House and temporarily shed my role as artCentral’s DirectorCurator. With a heart full of anticipatory glee, I pack my bag and jet to Jersey for a holiday celebration with Sophie and her family—my daughter and son-in-law and Sophie’s “Bro”, Trooper, their Doberman.
For four days I have non-stop fun! fun! fun! keeping
company with a two-and-a-half year old,
experiencing the world though her preferences and relishing my role as full-time Grandmère. As Sophie’s Dad observes, “All she has to do is play.” And so for four glorious days we…play! play! play!
We play with paints and brushes at Sophie’s easel. We sit on two tiny stools at her little table and play with stickers, markers, crayons and coloring books. In Sophie’s play kitchen we make play sandwiches for Daddy. Down on the floor we assemble her choo-choo set and laugh when the cars tumble off the track. We sing the jumping song as Sophie bounces up and down on her mini trampoline and does her “seat drop”. We piece together every puzzle in her toy chest. We build and decorate a gingerbread house and crack each other up as Sophie applies the reindeer stickers I sent her in the mail.
We take Trooper for neighborhood outings. On her trike Sophie speeds like Mr. Toad down the sidewalk inclines and over the big bumps, while Mommie and I scurry alongside trying to keep even. We go to gymnastics class where Sophie fearlessly walks the high beam with “arms up”. We go to a birthday party and Elsa makes a guest appearance. Traveling to the New York Botanical Gardens, we see the annual Christmas Train Show and lunch on toasted cheese sandwiches and cocoa.
At bedtime Sophie insists on at least four books. I get to read some. A favorite is her “ōga” book. Sophie stands up in her bed and does her asanas, posing in tree and bird and several others until we read the last page. Then she stretches out and closes her eyes to practice breathing slow, deep breaths in and long, slow breaths out. Mommie turns the nursery lights very low as Grandmère slips quietly out the door.
Since I left Sophie and her family to come home to Carthage, I’ve been yoga breathing a lot. Yoga breathing helps soothe my aching heart.
Missing my precious playmate goes with the bliss of being Sophie’s Grandmère.