I think that Katie and I have evolved into really good friends. We're both pretty mellow individuals; we share a lot of the same ideals and values, and we both love my son. We can talk about almost anything, although conversation is not necessary. We respect each other's privacy and we both love to knit! I miss her company and her temperament and the loving and giving atmosphere she infuses into her home.
While I was there, Alex would wake me up in the morning by standing at the bottom of the stairs and, in her high-pitched and shrill 2 year old voice yell "Nana! Time to get up Nana! NANA! NAAAANNNNAAAA!" She's almost completely potty trained (except for sleep time). During the day she would jump up and announce "Nana! Goobie go peepee on the big potty." "Ok Alex. I'm coming!" While sitting on her Dora the Explorer seat, she would remind me that "Goobie not fall in." I remember one day when I asked her for a kiss or a hug or something, and she promptly turned around and pulled her undies down saying "Little butt cheeks Nana!"
Alex is the intellectual. She's so precocious. She wants to learn and know everything. Whenever there's a noise she can't identify, she'll ask "What's that noise?" When she sees something new, she asks "What's that?" She wants to be involved in everything ... she wants to learn how to do it. She insists on doing it herself! But she will also ask for help if she needs it. Keeping up with her quest for knowledge and information can be daunting and exhausting, but I miss her smile and her energy tremendously.
I have often said that my grandson has an old soul. You can see in his eyes that he's been here before, many times, and in those lives, he's learned a lot about life's difficulties. Well, I'm convinced that Emily has been here before as well, but what she has experienced is different from her only male cousin. There's a lightness around her, but at the same time, she knows things. At 18 months of age, she is so sensitive and perceptive ... It's like she can see what lives in your heart.
Emily is the cuddler. When she hugs you, her little hands will pat your shoulders like she's comforting you. That's her way of saying "I love you." She and her Daddy will dance to the song "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down, and while they're dancing, she'll place her chubby little hands on the sides of his face and lock onto his eyes. Then she'll literally wrap herself around him and lie her head on his shoulder. It is simply one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
Emily is also very cautious about who she lets into her heart. People see this as shyness, but I think she's simply taking her time and getting to know you. The day that Emily took it upon herself to crawl up on the couch to have some Nana cuddles ... my heart just overflowed. What a compliment she had given me, trusting me with her love.
And now there is Olivia, the precious new life that I helped to birth. She doesn't know it yet, but she and her mother have already enriched my life beyond belief. Katie generously allowed me to help deliver Olivia. Katie's midwife, Jennifer, guided Olivia's head from the birth canal, and then I took over ... in essence, "catching" Olivia's body as she was delivered from her mother. Because of this, I already feel a special bond with her, and my relationship with my daughter-in-law has been deepened as well. Now I cannot wait to see how Olivia's personality develops.
I'm going back to Texas in December, but that's not soon enough for me. Each time I leave them I seriously toy with the idea of moving to Texas. Would I live with them? What kind of a job would I get? Is it feasible to switch careers at my age? Who knows ... but I have learned that I need to follow my heart and be true to myself. Therefore, further exploration is needed.