Two very special people are here today…
Nana and Pop Pop!
We haven’t seen my parents since we went up to Boston to visit my father in the rehab facility over Thanksgiving. We wanted to visit them at their house in Amherst, but my father was still hooked up to all sorts of machinery and catheters until about two weeks ago, so they were understandably skittish about letting my three germ-infested, grabby, screaming, gooey nosed children into their sterile home.
Then last week my dad called. His doctors had put the kibosh on his attending Jo Jo’s fourth birthday party (too many potentially virus laden preschoolers running around) but he had otherwise been cleared to travel. How did I feel about their coming up to visit the following weekend?
Are you kidding?
We’ve been talking about it in our house for days.
When my parents first arrived this afternoon, it was a bit of a shock. The last time I saw my dad he was still basically in a hospital bed. Now he’s moving around and getting into and out of cars and bathrooms and all sorts of awkward places, all with the help of a cane. Also, my mother made him wear these really weird sunglasses (ala Stevie Wonder) because she worried his eyes might freak my kids out. The glasses lasted about all of five minutes, as all three children as soon as they sat on Pop Pop’s lap made a bee line for them.
Yes, it’s still strange to realize he’s blind. Yes, it’s surreal to talk to him and know that he’s looking at you but doesn’t see you. Yes, I choke up when Teddy says, “Read me a story Pop Pop” and I have to explain that Pop Pop can’t (and it’s not like a two year old can really comprehend that, anyway).
I think back to my childhood, when I was a little girl and my father seemed like the Rock of Gibraltar, and to see him in this new place, this vulnerable place, is sometimes just so hard.
But at the same time it’s so wonderful to know that he’s here, that he’s alive, that my children get to cuddle with him and get to know him and that some of his wisdom and his compassion is rubbing off on them.
They just don’t make men like my father anymore. They just….don’t.
We’ll miss my parents at Jo Jo’s birthday party next week. But we feel really lucky because my sister and her family (including my new nephew, Anders!) are driving up to be part of the festivities.
And we feel so, so fortunate to have spent the whole day with Nana and Pop Pop. They are probably the only two people in the universe who can sit for hours in a playroom pretending to sip tea with three puking, pooping grandchildren and think it’s great. Although they did wisely decide to stay at a hotel, so they can sleep in and not be awakened by the small stinkbombs yowling at 6 am on a Sunday morning.
We’re looking forward to bagels and lox with them tomorrow. And lots and lots of snuggles. And more of Nana’s delicious spaghetti and meatballs and brisket.
Here’s to the good times.