I just finished reading Anne Lamott's book, A Journal of My Son's First Son, co-written with her son Sam Lamott. In this book, she writes from a new grandmother's perspective. I picked this book up in the Phoenix airport as I was leaving Liam at the age of 3 weeks...it seemed so timely. That was way back in April. And I just finished it. I've not been reading much lately. I've certainly not been blogging much either. Help.
One thing I took away from Anne Lamotte's book is the 3 essential prayers: Help, Thanks, Wow. That's it. She's written a book called just that but I haven't read it yet (it's on my list, my ever growing list)...although she refers to it in this last book I just read.... God knows our needs, our blessings, our pain, our joys. All we really need to do is send up a Help, Thanks, or Wow. It just feels good to acknowledge it and is right to do so. If you're not one to get down on your knees and say a lengthy prayer to God, this is all you really need to do. He already knows...just send him up a Help, Thanks, or Wow.
Help me keep my mouth shut. Help me have more patience. Help. Thanks for this day. Thanks for this meal. Thanks for keeping my mouth shut. Thanks. Wow, this baby is pure joy. Wow we did it! We got all 3 kids through college. Wow... that sunset is glorious. Wow.
This has definitely been a year of Help and Thanks but also Wow.
Liam is now 5 months old and he is rolling back and forth, babbling, grabbing toys, trying to hold his own bottle and almost sitting without falling over. Wow.
I've done a poor job of journaling about Liam on this blog. In fact, this blog, if it could, would have cobwebs on it. I've given a lot of thought about why I haven't blogged in awhile and all I can come up with is that I'm just living and staying in the moment. And my mojo is off. Help.
This year has been full of ups and downs. In January, while attending Jordan's baby shower, my mother passed away. She had been bed-ridden and very ill for at least 3 years so it was not unexpected yet the timing was certainly a shock. I was in Phoenix attending a joyous occasion. The death of my mother had to be pushed down...way down...so I could experience this joyous occasion...this moment. Help.
Then came the joyous arrival of my first grandchild in March. Thanks. That day was all about getting on a plane as quickly as I could so I could make it to the hospital in Phoenix in time. I was full of anticipation and anxiety...and attention deficit due to the endless games of Solitaire on the ipad while waiting to be called to board and missed my flight sitting at the wrong gate....because the gate number had been changed and I failed to read the black board indicating that small detail. By the time I got to the hospital and saw Liam for the first time, I felt like that day had been a week! Wow.
Will graduated in May and by July 4th, we moved him out to Los Angeles. Wow. Those weeks were filled with emptying the attic and cleaning out closets and getting him packed up. Emptying the attic? Yes. Will had about 6 weeks between graduating and moving so I put him to work for me. I just had this urge to get everything out of the attic while I had the strong arms of Will around. He brought down every single dust covered box and put them in the game room. And the garage attic got emptied, too. The game room is now referred to as Junk Central. Next is the chore to go through them and trash, save or sell the stuff. (Beanie Babies anyone?) Help. The good news is that the attics are empty! Thanks.
Photo from Will's iPhone screen.
Now it's August and I am heading back to Phoenix for a visit with Liam. I actually get to babysit him for the weekend because his parents are going away for a much deserved weekend. I am beyond excited about this. Thanks. Wow. Needless to say, we're spending a lot of our money on airfare these days. That would be a "help" for Chuck. But it's a "thanks for the wow" for me.
Like I said, this year as been full of ups....Liam's birth, Will graduating from college, getting the attic cleaned out (yes, that's an UP), Cameron being in a new and great relationship with a guy we're very fond of...Thanks...but also downs...my mother's passing, Will moving away so far away, being so far away from Liam. Help.
One Wow that has caught me by surprise is the joy I have received watching Jordan become a mother. I was prepared for the joy of a grandchild. Many, if not most of my friends my age, are already grandmothers. I have heard for years "you just wait, you will never believe how wonderful it is." So Liam has certainly filled that prophecy. They were all right...I could not have imagined this kind of love. But watching my own child become a mother has been the icing on the cake. Wow.
Jordan was a very good baby, a smart little girl, made the perfect A's on her report card. Never got in trouble in school until 10th grade when she back talked a teacher (that's genetics as it happened to me in 10th grade, too). She gave us some back talk...okay, a lot of back talk as a teenager...but nothing compared to stories I've heard from others. Thanks. She got in to A&M and got out in 4 years. Wow! She headed to Phoenix for an internship knowing no one. Wow! Ended up in Arizona with a full time job and went on to find her husband who we love. Thanks. She has made us proud. There has never been any doubt that she would succeed at anything she attempted. Controlling, independence and stubbornness handed down by her parents may have helped in her endeavors.
I knew she would be a good mama one day, but she has surpassed my expectations. She is so, so good with Liam. I get as much joy watching her with him as I do watching him. It's not that I thought she wouldn't be good at this, but I remember my insecurities with her, my first baby. I still remember how scared I was the first day I was left alone with her ...after the husband and mother returned to their work and lives. And tired? So tired. I was a bit of a complainer in those early days. I just thought I would hear her complain more or be cranky because I certainly remember feeling that way. But she is a natural at it. She is crazy about him, never complains about being too tired (to us anyway...Chris may be rolling his eyes about now), is so organized, has him on a schedule, doesn't freak out when he's fussy, just loves, loves, loves on him. She grins the biggest grin when she looks at him and it's reciprocated by Liam. He swivels his head completely around if she's behind him. They can't get enough of each other. She sends us pictures daily and calls or face times us almost every evening. It's made the distance between us and Liam much more bearable. Watching Jordan become a mother has been a huge joy that was unexpected. Wow. Thanks!
I am riding the ups and downs by staying in the moment. Just this moment. Now this one.
I've been sending up those Helps, Thanks and Wows.
Try it. It's not good for my blogging but it sure is good for the soul.