I pass my mom’s old exit and, every time, think about how many times I got off here to visit her, to visit my dad. All the pool parties and barbecues, helping out after surgeries, Christmas Eve dinners, the first time I was there after he died.
The bridge is clear, and my Fastrak works perfectly, “Valid, etc.”, popping up on the machine as I pull through (why does it say that?). I try not to rush too much. Safe is better than sorry. As I get off the freeway and head for the house, I’m smiling, just because I can’t help it.
This little person, my grandson, has brought out the happy in me. He sees me and laughs, each and every time, and how can you be serious around all that “grandma you’re funny!!!?” (which, at only one year old, he can’t say out loud yet.) I honestly have trouble being serious around him. My wife says he’s teaching me to play. She’s right about that, because with him, that’s my job, my serious job, first and foremost; to play with him. To love him and to play with him.
My kids, my wife, they accuse me of loving him best. Not true! What is true is that I am in wonder at the astonishing beauty of his new life. How can it be that last year, he was tucked away in his mommy’s belly and now, here he is in the world? Every Monday, he sets out (without any apparent effort) to delight me. I have felt this wonder before; with each of my children, when I met my wife, sometimes with dear friends… We are all miracles. We all started out fresh and full of possibility.
So he makes me love life, and I love everyone in my life more for it. Sometimes I think about the accident of being born into this generation. I am so grateful that these experiences are possible for me. If I’d been born just a few years earlier I wouldn’t ever have had children, since I came out as a lesbian at 17 and NOBODY I knew had children unless they were mothers before they discovered their sexuality. I wouldn’t have been able to marry, to enjoy the profound privilege of being a mother, and then, icing on the cake (sugar free for my grandson), my child becoming a parent!!!
I pull up in front of the house, park the car, gather my bags, walk down the walkway. It’s going to be a great Monday!