The Relatives Came
We're back to business at usual here on the ark. We bid everyone a teary farewell on Monday. F (aka-Moocher #11--a nickname which I like so much here on the blog, it just may stick!) left early, early, Monday morning in a big, white stretch limo that B was disappointed she wasn't awake to see. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and she got off to work back East as planned. Grandma and Grandpa B left later that day and the car slowly dissolved into a hormonal puddle of tears as they did. As I was hopping back into the carful of sobbing little women, Grandma turned and said with a grin, "I'm sorry for you...but it sure makes us feel good!" Anything to make Grandma happy! Even H was genuinely sad about her new grandparents departure. I remember reading about a family who adopted a little girl (about 3) from our agency and how smoothly she attached to her and the rest of the family and her mom's comment that "...it was evident then, that she knew what a mother was and she knew she wanted one..." That's probably not as well stated as the original post, but the message really hit home that day. Our kids (the new and the old) are sad when Grandma and Grandpa leave because they understand, not just in their heads, but in their hearts, who and what grandparents are. This past week, they were the people who bailed them out of chores for the week, fixed them hot chocolate when they so much as mentionned it, purchased accessories (you haven't lived until you've watched two 8 year old girls running amok in the accessories department looking for hair pretties to match their new outfits), read stories, came to basketball games, heard them read school announcements (look for photo coming soon), and snuggled, kissed and hugged as often as possible. It was NOT a foreign concept for any of them. I even remembered during this week, a story H had shared with me about her Ethiopian Mom and Grandma (maternal).
We were in the kitchen together preparing sweet potatoes. By all accounts, H's Ethiopian Mom was a very good cook and passed her skills on to her only daughter. So, she was teaching me how to wash, boil, skin, season and mash sweet potatoes. As we worked our way through the process, it became time to fire up the burner and start the water boiling. With the blue flame flickering away, I set the pot containing the potatoes atop it. I then turned to H and said, "Is this how you helped cook in Ethiopia?" She said, "Yes, but that one my mother said no hot," she paused for a minute, as a secret smile crossed her face and her eyes lit up, "This one, my mother's mother, yes." Then, she went through a pantomine impression of helping her grandmother light the fire, put the pot on and cover it---all after her Ethiopian mom hadn't let her for fear she would be hurt. Someday, when her language is better, I will tell her that is a universal truth. We mothers live with the worry that something could happen to our precious children, and grandmothers allow our children to experience life without bubble wrap and a constant safety net. But at that moment, I nodded my understanding and then quickly checked to make sure she wasn't standing too close to the hot stove.