Love grows

When I got a brief text message from North Carolina late one hot mid- July night in 2005 that read simply “9 pounds 5 ounces” I felt my heart grow in a way that I never experienced before.  Two years and three months later, five years ago today, in that same hospital from where that summer text was sent, I watched a swaddled newborn be carried like a football down a long hall to the nursery, and felt my heart grow in a way that I never experienced before. Before the birth of wee-one #2, who is lovingly referred to as “Bug” I was afraid, truly, as to how I am supposed to love more than one grandbaby and thought often, “how can I possibly love another child like I love this one?” (meaning wee-one #1 who is lovingly referred to as Sweet-Ti) and having had only one child of my own, the way the heart grows when it gets full was confusing to me…OR I guess it could be better stated that I did not realize that the heart is nothing at all like the stomach, which on Thanksgiving for example,  gets so filled that you can’t possibly imagine putting anything else in it…I have learned, through the births of the daughters of my only daughter, that the heart just expands and fills and swells and does not get stuffed, that you can’t over-fill it.

I used to say, after the birth of Sweet-Ti, that I had no idea how much love I had inside of me until she came into this world.  I just could not believe how much I could treasure this human who was not mine.  I thought I loved my daughter, but the love that I felt for her daughter when she arrived in 2005, just boggled my already often boggled mind.  When my daughter and son-in-law told me a year and a half later that they were having another baby, I was really perplexed as to how on earth am I supposed to do this???  LOVE another one…

The first morning with wee-one #2 at home (I went down to North Carolina this time too to help)  I had awakened to give her her early morning feeding so my daughter and son-in-law could sleep, and I was on the couch holding her, watching her eyes dart around under her droopy eyelids and feeling her little body sigh with contentment with a satisfied belly, and wee-one #1 got out of bed and sat beside me, and I reached for her with my free arm and there I sat, holding all that love and I realized suddenly that I did in fact have enough love inside of me for them both.  It was like a miracle.  I had no idea I could do THAT.

When their family decided they wanted to be in NJ and moved back from NC I knew my life would never be the same.  I was prepared to be a hands-on single Nana.  I seldom call either one by their given names.  I hear their laughter through the woods between our homes and they are in and out of my house as if it were just an extension of their own.  To be so in love with my neighbors is a most beautiful thing.  Now my heart is full in a way I never ever dreamed it could be…I not only have the daughters of my daughter occupying much of my heart but I now have the daughter of the man I love as well.  I often was told during my life that I was cold and distant but somehow this cold and distant woman has found herself hopelessly devoted to little girls who are not her own.  Love grows, in wonderous ways…

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