Sunday, June 10, 2012

Life and death with bebe

Life has marched ever forward since my last post. 

My yard is such a mess that I want to put an apologetic sign out front that says "Sorry!  We've got an infant."  If I could get my act together, I could probably sell them on etsy and make some side money.

I have returned to working full-time, cramming my workweek into 4 10s.  Gene stays home with Kaelen Mon-Thurs.  He leaves for work on Friday morning and stays until Saturday evening.  Sunday is our sole day as a family and we do the best we can to catch up with each other, more often than not leaving yard work for another day.

In May I bought some tomato plants, tarragon, and some squash to put into the front veggie beds.  They're still in the pots in the back yard.

Last week a teenaged boy stopped by with an offer to mow the lawn for a mere $8.  We asked him to return the next day because we had no cash.  It poured the next day and our lush, green lawn is embarrassingly tall.  (note to your entrepreneurs: have enough cash to break bills)

Oh well.  Our time together is more precious than mowed grass and organic squash growing on the parking strip.  As the weather worms up - I say that optimistically because we've been hovering 10 degrees below normal - we'll take the baby outside and turn the outdoors honey-do lists into honey-done lists.

Last week Kaelen cut a tooth and rolled over on the same day.  Tooth #2 is threatening to erupt any day now.  He's a content baby who sleeps at night like a champ.  We're so blessed with such an easy-tempered little guy.

We've started him on solids - homemade, of course - and he has yet to refuse anything offered him.  He's sampled many typical baby foods, such as pureed fruits and veggies, and some atypical things like pad thai.  I've read a couple of books about introducing children to healthy foods and hope to have him on the right track.  Just this afternoon I whirred some peas in the food processor and gave him a taste from my fingertip.  He was so eagerly appreciative that I pulled out one of his brand new baby spoons and fed him what remained in the bowl.

When it comes to Kaelen, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  He's slept through the night since he was 6 weeks old.  He's healthy, happy, and spit-shined by the dog on a daily basis.

In other areas of our lives, however, the other shoe has most definitely dropped.  I made the difficult decision in May to have my 15-year-old cat, Mira, put down.  My favorite hen, Gwen, died unexpectedly during my visit to New England.  Sad events, but they come with the territory of animal husbandry.

Every damn shoe in the closet fell about a week ago when my gramp in New England got a devastating diagnosis: metastatic bone cancer in his pelvis and thigh bone.  He has very quickly progressed through the final stages of his life.  My brother is set to fly out this Tuesday but we're not sure he's going to arrive in time.  Not even skype has been an option, Gramp is so sick.

And so here I sit, for the second time in three months, again grieving a beloved grandparent before the fact.  My phone, rarely off of the vibrate setting, has its volume turned up as we await the inevitable news of his passing.  He's been in so much pain that morphine hasn't even helped.  We all hope, for his sake, that his passing happens quickly. 

Like when my grandma died in March, I again find myself thankful for the time I had with my gramp in the past year.  Gene and I went to New England a year ago so that he could meet my family there.  On a whim I whisked Kaelen away for 10 days this last spring.  I think we all knew, but didn't acknowledge openly, that it would be the one and only time Kaelen would meet his great-grampy and that Kaelen would be the only great-grandchild Gramp would ever see.

I take solace in and enjoyment from the things I can control  Time with Rosemary.  Knitting a challenging and interesting shawl for myself.  Visiting the farmers market with Gene and Kaelen.  Figuring out what makes Kaelen giggle uncontrollably.  Cooking for my family.  Heading to Seattle for once-in-a-lifetime exhibits.

And life goes on.  In time I'll teach Kaelen some of the silly things my grampy said.  Better yet, I'll make sure my dad passe along those parts of his father.  Grampy was always a man of few words but when he did speak, you had better pay attention because it was usually going to be clever.

He'd laugh if he knew that I'll think of him any time I see bird poop on my car.  "Look," he'd exclaim, a bird wants to buy your car!"  When given a quizzical look he'd gleefully deliver the punchline: "See?  He left you a little deposit".  That joke cracked him up every time.

Fly free, Grampy.  And on your way, leave as many deposits on cars as you want.  I'll tell Kaelen what it's for.

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