Fair warning, only .02% of this blog post has to do with jewelry 🙂
Last week, I visited Southern California, where my daughters still live.
Before we moved to Oregon in March 2014, my oldest daughter said “Mom, you’re gonna be sorry you moved. You are going to miss out on grandbabies.”
Boy, was she right.
So, I made plans to visit in March of each year (that’s the plan anyway!) and in January I told myself…time to get crackin.
So I began prepping late January, early February. Seriously had to get my game face on.
Why? I’m scared to fly.
I don’t drink and I don’t have the luxury of popping a xanax when my nerves are shot. I meditate and practice deep breathing. I do everything BUT pop pills when I’m scared. And pee my pants, I don’t pee my pants when I’m scared. Yet, anyway. Thank God for small things. Small things matter, trust me.
For 2 weeks I tried to plan a flight. For 2 weeks I became frustrated, embarrassed and would shut my laptop over and over again. The flights were too confusing, the dates and times were overwhelming and what do you mean by the carry on size? Fly on Monday at 6 a.m. meant that I had to get up at 4, land by 10 a.m. and would that be too early for someone to pick me up? Flying non-stop costs more money.
Finally I told myself “Bobinda, get your shit together. You can’t live your life scared to fly.”
And around that time, my sister called me. We’re chatting away and I ask her non-nonchalantly about flying, security gates and packing and and and and… Her and her hubby fly everywhere. They sail everywhere. She was a font of information. I think I sucked her dry. I finally felt safe enough to venture out on my own and order my own damned tickets.
Time to get tough.
I found luggage that fit the carry on size. I packed and repacked so that when I went through security they could see my perfect 2 oz liquids in a zip lock bag (thank god for travelers on youtube showing the rest of us how they travel!!!) and all my electronics were in another zip lock bag.
Pack and REfreakingPACK.
I felt like I was in training, or something.
Anxiety does that.
Ohhhh “add a spinner ring to the list of things to take” ~ I’ll need something to DO with this anxiety.
Airport security since 9/11 tightened and we now have to take our shoes off, raise our arms and get scanned. You have to have your luggage roll through this machine… can they see my underwear? Am I going to get arrested for TWEEZERS for gods sake? Is toothpaste a liquid? Is my Kindle considered a laptop and does it go into its own little bin for security? Will someone steal my stuff when I hit my head while bending over to put my shoes back on? Will I step in godknowsWHAT when I walk through the “socks only” zone? Can they see the poptarts I had for breakfast in my stomach?
Random thoughts floated through my “bright shiny things” brain.
Are they going to detain me because my eyes shifted a certain way when the behavioralist specialist whatever they’re called looked at me and found me suspicious, when all that was really going on in my head is “they’re wearing name tags and walking official looking dogs, can they tell I’ve had 8 cups of coffee driving to Portland airport and have to PEE RIGHT NOW” in a total panic mode? Can they see all that?
And, for crying out loud, you’re not allowed to have gel insoles in your shoes. Or bottled water through the security lines. I have no control freak issues. None. All of this disturbed me. To most people, not a big deal. Am I the only one this sensitive? I’m gonna pretend I’m not. And for those of you that THINK you’re the only one, guess what? I said it. Out loud. You can feel better now, you’re not crazy. Take solace in knowing that there’s someone out there in the world who has random thoughts…random dramatic thoughts 🙂
I was terrified of flying. Hurtling 43,000 miles an hour, 44,000 feet up in the air with only peanuts and soda to survive on when we crashed IF we survived… yes, those things filled my mind.
Long story short, I got my tickets (on my cell phone, how cool is THAT?) packed my bag for the LAST time, drove an hour and a half with Tom Petty screaming out of my speakers, drank a bunch of coffee *not recommended if you’re already dealing with anxiety* parked my car in long term parking (that was yet ANOTHER youtube video!!)
I flew on SW (a whole ‘nother blog) and while we’re taking off, I whip out my cell phone and film the takeoff. I don’t know why, but suddenly I found it necessary to document flying to see my grandson.
As we reach the point between the ground and suspension in mid air (am I the only one who thinks this is cool, but at the same time can’t breathe?) I decided that this would be the first of many flights to California to visit my girls and their families… So, while the plane is getting ready for liftoff… I say (for posterity of course because he’ll watch it over and over, right?)
“Here we go A!! Gramma is on her way to see you, yay!”
In. The. Quietest. Gramma. Voice. Ever.
Because …little boys love planes, right?
Then the tears started. I don’t know WHERE they came from. We’ve only been in Oregon for around 10-11 months and just absolutely love it here. It’s green, there’s trees, I can breathe, the LACK of sun makes my skin and brain happy, it’s cleaner, the water tastes like candy, the taxes are easier for my Etsy business…the living is just easier all the way around.
Still, it was and is torture …to know that a 1,000 long mile span exists… To my babies.
I leaned my head against the airplane window glass and just let the tears fall. I hid my face so I wouldn’t get any questions… I knew I just needed to cry. I think I was crying tears of grief, tears of the fact, that, yes…I am missing out. I cried because I’m a new gramma. I wonder if gramma’s have the same release of hormones that mom’s do after they give birth?
I cried because my dad, who was this amazing “Pawpaw” to both of my daughters, would never see his great grandson. I cried because my husband was unable to fly with me. I cried because I knew I only had 5 days with them and since I was staying at my older daughters house, would not be with him as much as I wanted to be. I cried because I felt stupid for moving. I cried because my kids won’t move to Oregon.
I just cried.
There were little kids in the seats behind me, squealing with delight and the were excited to be on their first plane ride.
I wondered when little A would take his first flight and smiled. I wondered about all of his “firsts.”
At first, I wondered how much I’d be missing and felt sad and wistful about that. Living in So Cal had been killing me on so many levels for years… and as much as I’d die for my kids, it wasn’t happening THAT way! I’ll take a bullet and donate my brain but to live in California…not the way I’m gonna die for them.
I dried my tears up and focused on the positive. I get to go see him NOW, we have email, we have Skype, we have texts and video chats and snail mail and oh so many wonderful things we didn’t have just 20 years ago or even 10 years ago.
I pulled myself into the moment. I took a deep breath and focused on the positive. I shifted into gratitude and went into that place of “enough” – where it’s enough to just be, it’s enough to breathe and it’s enough …it’s all enough.
I knew my daughter was super wonderful with being considerate of others so I knew she wouldn’t do some crap like “Well, mom moved away so this is what she gets, tough luck” and not keep me updated.
She’ll keep me updated like every other gramma who lives far away gets updated… but not in the stalkerish gramma way that I want, like 24/7 surveillance so I can watch him and coo here and there. Am I the only gramma like that? 😀 Of course not! Right? Right? RIGHT?
I decided (with quiet fanfare mind you) that my gramma name would be “Nana” and that A could have fun with my name (like “LindaBoBinda”) and could call me “NanaBanana” and “NanaFeFiFoMananna” and other…silly fun things.
Before I knew it, we landed in Ontario, CA. As I walked through the exit of the airport and passed all the newbs removing their shoes, looking unsure where to put their jackets and making sad faces when they had to throw that 5.00 bottle of water they just bought. I smiled. I made it. It was a pretty cool feeling. Little A was so worth facing the fear and the struggles to get here. My daughters S and A were worth the time and effort it took to get here.
I waited outside for a few minutes and there she was! A pulled up and I was in my baby’s brand new car (yay safety!!) and little A…was in his car seat, facing backwards with a blanket over his seat like a tent. I was DYING inside to see him, hold him and smell him.
We chatted on the 45 minute drive to her house. She is funny, my daughter. She had her left hand on the wheel and her right hand in this backwards and upside down position holding little A’s binky to his mouth and soothing him. She grinned at me and said “I’ve learned how to drive this way, it’s okay mom. No worries” (I’m an old girl scout, “Safety First! “) I just twisted my spinner ring, took another deep breath and smiled lol
When reached her house and I finally saw him, he smiled.
And a sunshiney 1960’s peace love musical started in my head… A wonderful Willy Wonka land ‘o love opened up in my Nana heart.
The clouds parted, angels sang and again…tears sprang to my eyes and I let one or two fall. He mimicked my face so I smiled again and made the noises that we only make to babies. Tears of love and happiness mixed in with my big beaming Nana smile. Oh the feels!!
Every time I was there, he was in my arms. I couldn’t wait for him to wake up, get done nursing, get finished being changed or being burped.
They all knew. They were so gracious in letting me hold him. I will always be grateful for the unselfishness of these new parents.
I got to do what I went to do. Visit my girls and my beautiful grandson.
Drink him in, smell him, gaze at his beautiful face, settle it forever into my memory.
He has these deep pools of blue eyes. His skin is so soft. His little legs are wiggly and strong.
He kept trying to laugh and we would all pitch in, tickling him and laughing in high pitched weird noises to stimulate him to laugh. Nada. Still, it was fun. Where else are you going to get away with those noises? Ha!
Holding him, looking into his eyes I felt this bond. This strange and yet familiar ethereal timeless and spaceless …bond… and I felt my fathers bond and my mothers bond to me…and then 21 and 26 years after holding me…the bond they must have felt holding S and A for the first time.
I thought about the many generations of just MY side of the family. I thought about the many generations from his fathers side of the family…and how they all melded together to create this beautiful baby boy.
He has this BRIGHT and COLORFUL “tummy time”
mat plaything exercise gym dome thing that has all primary colors … I mean, it’s BRIGHT. There’s little toys hanging off the sides and near his face when he turns his head. There’s a mirror where he can look at himself. There’s a ball hanging from the very center of the top, when he kicked it, it wobbled in the air and this just made him kick more.
Bright. Shiny. Things.
My daughter lay him on his tummy and tuck his arms carefully under his chest.
Little A held his head up and was so strong. Like, hulk strong.
He’s only 2 months old! Nana was proud of her big handsome boy!
His eye contact was something else. He would stare at an object for a few seconds/minutes and when you would make noises or say his name he would look at you…and then when the connection happened he smiled. And wiggled. I kept telling him how beautiful and handsome and strong he is. He just kept smiling. And eating. And pooping. And farting. And sleeping.
But the smiles…that was like magic!
So, my name is “Nana” and his name is “Bubbie” and “Wigglebutt”
Dear little A, I hope Nana isn’t insulting you with these nicknames. I’m sure more will develop 🙂
When I was pretty sure nobody was listening, I hummed or sang John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.”
And tried not to cry. It was just so touching though. I felt like I was holding the miracle of miracles, the love of the Universe and the end all to end all. I can’t describe the feeling. It’s not like worshipping God, it’s not like that at all. It’s just this…love.
Big badass Universal …love. Powerful stuff!
He’s truly beautiful. He’s amazing. He’s going to be spoiled and loved and have this huge extended family. It’s cool, he’s got 3 grammas.
When I held his little hands, I wondered what I had to offer him. After all, I’m 1,000 miles away. And here’s where I become a hypocrite …All of my “I am enough” jewelry and quotes and whatnot…sometimes I really struggle with those 3 words?
I didn’t feel like I was going to be “enough.” We don’t have the money to fly there all the time, we don’t have the money to buy him really cool toys like those tiny hummers they can drive these days. I just…didn’t think I had anything to offer.
Seriously. My head was lyyyyyyying to me.
I find it so interesting that we are so quick to believe negative crap and it’s W.O.R.K. to believe the positive!
Giftwise, if he was a girl, I would make jewelry ALL THE TIME.
But he’s not. He’s a boy. don’t know what boys wear, I had two girls and we had makeup and jewelry and clothes everywhere. Boys? I didn’t know. They like …trains…guns… sports…ummm I dunno? Maybe he’ll like those leather wrist bracelets that guys are wearing.
Then it clicked.
I have hammers. I have a drill press. I have ring mandrels, I have bench blocks and saws and shears and ohmygawd I have TOOLS!
I have yummy loud ass tools.
Little A is going to come and visit and know how to make a ring. He would come and learn how to
play …work... use a torch. Safely.
He would learn what a MDSS is! He would learn about liver of sulpher and how it makes copper oxidize. He would learn about how to make holes in sterling silver and copper. He would learn how to stamp names and designs in metal. He would learn how metal goes from this piece of whatever to a shiny beautiful piece of art.
He would learn how metal MOVES when you hammer it. I can teach him that the metal has to be clean, that solder only flows where there’s flux and how to quench and listen for the fabulous HISS that the metal makes when it’s quenched.
I’ll share my passion with him.
He would learn to sit and find his muse and I would encourage all the creativity in the world. I will tell him to trust his heart and trust his soul. I will tell him that everything he creates is amazing. I will lift his head and wipe his tears when he doesn’t believe in himself anymore. I will sit by his side and teach him everything I know and lift him up in all ways creative.
I will buy paint and crayons and chalk. We’ll draw on the cement outside and paint on miles of paper. My
refrigerator kitchen wall will be the mecca of all his artwork!
No, I don’t have a lot of money, but I am me. That’s more than enough. Plus, who has gramma’s with bitchin hammers? My little Bubbie!
I wondered what kind of boy he’ll be as I stroked his head when he fell asleep. I wondered if he’ll like hiking and fishing and if he’ll yell at the TV like his mom and dad when it’s football season. I wondered what kind of interests he’ll have. What his dreams were going to be.
I wondered how much life would throw at him and if he’ll truly, to his core, believe his is enough. I decided that I would be part of that team…the “I am enough” team. I already know that his mom and dad, his Auntie S and Great Auntie G, his other gramma’s cousins, grampas and beyond, were going to make sure he knew he is loved and cherished.
What a wonderful memorable visit. Their homes were my Disneyland. Their eyes and faces, my Grand Canyon and Northern Lights. My heart was on an E ticket ride.
You can have your expensive cruises, your flights to Paris and your million dollar yachts, my dream vacations will always be wherever my family is. You just can’t buy these cherished memories.
My oldest daughter, S, had just started settling into her new house nearby and it was a joy to visit with her and see her new house. They’re working on it. Making it their own. The tile is nice and cool to walk on. I can see how smooth and scrumptious it is going to be during a hot California summer.
Her yards are raw landscapes, waiting to be filled and have memories made in them. The house…It’s great. The paint choices are fantastic. S loves bright colors and so her favs are painted on the walls. Pinks, purples and seafoam green. My brave shiny gorgeous girl has fun tastes. I’m glad she’s not sticking to white walls! I got to see her working with her students in the Headstart class. She’s a gifted teacher. Those kids are lucky to have her. She’s lucky to have them as well.
I can see both sisters having many dinners there at S’s house and little A playing on his “Tummy time” mat play yard dome tenty looking thing.
When I was a baby, they just took one of those old playpens from the 60’s, turned it upside down on a blanket on the floor and said “See ya later kid” while I stuck my fingers through the mesh like a monkey in the zoo.
Little A has a tummy time domed gym play mat. Times have changed!
Oh wait, he’s not going to be having much tummy time, because someone will always be holding him. We’ll change “Tummy time” to “yummy time” 🙂 Because he’s just that yummy!!
My girls probably think I was over tired or feeling awkward, but I was quiet for a lot of the visit… but I was really drinking it all in, memorizing every little detail of their eyes, listening to their voices and just..enjoying being with them.
Having only 5 days (with 2 of those days traveling) made me keenly aware that I had so few precious moments with each of my girls and little A.
I sit here, blogging and take a moment to rest my eyes and my fingers.
I just have to close my eyes and I still remember little A’s smooth head, smelling S’s hair when I hugged her, and remembering the love in A’s eyes and she held her son.
I will always remember the feeling of pride when I walked through my oldest daughters house, knowing she worked hard to get there. Shoot, it was just yesterday she was playing house and here she has one?
My heart is full knowing she is happy with her job and has a great partner and has a piece of the American Dream of owning a house. My heart is full. And grateful.
I will always remember the feeling of …
what’s it called when you see two young parents loving up on their son?
Or the way their son responds to his mommy or daddy’s voice?
What’s it called when a baby looks at mommy with this…intense connection?
There’s words, I’m sure. But for now, it’s a memory and feelings and it’s indescribable.
Something keeps popping up on my facebook feed. It goes like this.
“In French, you don’t really say “I miss you.” You say “tu me manques,” which is closer to “you are missing from me.”
I love that. “You are missing from me.” You are a part of me, you are essential to my being. You are like a limb, or an organ, or blood. I cannot function without you.”
To my girls, S and A…to my beautiful baby grandson, welcome to the world. Nana loves you and “tu me manques.”
I made this for A for Christmas 2014. The title of it ~~ “A Mother’s Love.”
It’s a mother holding her child. I etched it on copper, “hemmed” the edges with copper and wire wrapped blue beads as decoration and as the hanger.
When I first started making jewelry a few short years ago, my sister, G, who lives in Australia, sent me some beads that were part of a necklace of gorgeous blue and green glass beads.There are some gorgeous lampwork beads among them.
I used some of those beads to bring all of this piece together. Keeping the beads in the family is important to me. Sentimental. Love.
I cropped the photo on the bottom because that’s where their names are. Privacy issues and all. Family is family you know 🙂