Friday, August 13, 2010

Eight "Fun" months on Earth

The Bibba is eight months old today....and I have been a grandparent, it seems like, since I was put on this earth.  I know this sounds simplistic, but sometimes I feel as if I was born for this role. 

What does it mean to be a grandma?  or in my case a Yaya?  In ancient Greek the term Yaya literally means "woman."  Many Greek grandmothers are called Yaya out of respect for reaching the pinnacle of womanhood.  Do you hear that out there, grandmas?  We have reached the pinnacle....hmmm.

In almost all traditions and cultures of the world, Yaya represents the highest form of woman, achieved only by initiation, experience and longevity.  Wow!  No wonder I feel as if I have earned something, as the Bibba initiated me into the respected circle of Yayas everywhere.

For those of you who know me, you know that I have actually worked hard for this distinction and my life has sometimes felt and seemed like one long, hard initiation into something......but with all past references aside, there is no wonder that I feel the great weight of being a symbol of womanhood to this small Bibba of a future woman.  

I hope that on this eighth month of her short life on earth, so far, (funny, I feel as if she has always been in my life) she knows how very seriously I take this title of Yaya and the role of elder woman in her life....but on a lighter note, I have never had more "fun" doing anything else in my life on Earth.

Dear Bibba,

I have spent the past eight months marveling at the wonder that is you!  You are a conglomerate of many different genes and chromosomes from two distinct groups of people that have come together to make you uniquely You....and what a unique person you have already become in my life. 

When I think of you my heart literally grows, Yaya is not having a heart attack....just melting inside from the wonder of you.  I always think of the word Fun with a capital F when I see or interact with you.  I hope you never lose that ability to have fun, my Bibba, no matter what is going on around you. 

I can never stay sad or serious when you are around.  Ironically the two longest visits I have had with you, March (4 months) and July (7 months) have been spent at the most "fun" place on Earth.  I am starting to see a pattern here........

Bibba, you have brought fun, laughter and joy, back into this hardworking, cynical woman's life.  I am eternally grateful for this and I promise to keep the fun alive for you when we are together.  Not a hard thing to do when I see you! 

Before you were born I saw a baby t-shirt that said, "What goes on at grandma's stays at grandma's" and just like Vegas I promise to always be a place where you can have fun, be yourself and safely tell me anything.  As you spread your wings, experience life and have fun doing it, I want Yaya to mean a safe haven for you. 

Whether poolside, in a bathtub or at Disney World, Bibba, you know how to live it up already! Don't ever lose that.  The world is a serious, sad place all on it's own, but by having the qualities of fun and laughter you will always draw people to you, as you do now, and wherever you are will be the place to be!  Just like your bib says, "It is Fun Being Me" and it should be fun being you because you are a special unique person.

One of my fondest memories of you these past eight months was in June, the video your mom emailed me (another modern marvel of this techno age) you were in the tub and laughing hysterically as your mother swatted at a fly with a towel.  You laughed so hard you got the hiccups and I watched that video many times laughing right along with you!  Laughter really is the best medicine. 

You are going to be a well traveled (thanks to your military father) well loved and well cared for young girl and this is going to make you an interesting and fun young woman.  I already feel richer for having you in my life Happy Eight Fun months on Earth...may the fun begin and go on for your entire lifetime! 


Your fun and funny (just ask your mom and your Aunt) Yaya

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Riding the Slide of Life

I am going to preface this blog post by saying that I am NOT a rebel!! I am a law abiding citizen and many times I talk myself out of fun things because I overanalyze participating, thus missing out on many fun experiences, i am sure. Please keep this in mind when you read my following "grand" adventure with the Bibba.

A year ago when I  found out (on Mother's day) that I was going to be a grandma for the first time, I celebrated at Disney with some friends.  That day was special, because all day I saw grandparents and their grandchildren and I could share in their joy, seeing myself enjoying experiences with my grandchildren at the most magical place in the world!

I have always been a big fan of water slides, so I spent the majority of that day riding down the slide with a friend's grandson.  We had a blast!!  We ended that day with the satisfied tired that comes from being in the sun and water all day.

Every time I rode down that slide I pictured myself holding my grandbaby and sharing the exhilaration of that ride with him or her.  I knew someday I would come back and ride that slide in celebration of my grand's birth.....

Fast forward a little over one year.......we had just spent a great week celebrating The Kid's 21st birthday in North Carolina.  (Another big baby is a "legal" adult).  We are back in Florida, Bibba's mom, the Bibba and Yaya.  We have decided to go to Disney for the day to celebrate being together for the Bibba's seventh month.  I am going to ride that slide with my sweet grandbaby!!

It was exhilarating enough just being on the same slide that I had celebrated the announcement of the Bibba's arrival, but what was even more exciting was the look on the Bibba's face when she saw we were going down the windy curves of the rushing water!  Her mommy went down first and she squealed in delight.  I could hardly keep her still as she kicked her legs wildly! 

My heart started to race when I first sat down with her on my lap and waited for the green light.  A middle school aged boy nudged his friend and said "cool, a baby"....   This cool baby was ready to go, while grandma started to question the sanity of what I was getting ready to do, but her mom would be at the bottom waiting for her, so the Bibba and Yaya took off......

we both laughed out loud as we careened quickly around each turn.  I held on so tight and sat up so straight; to slow our progress, that you would think I was an inanimate object in a straight jacket, but Bibba laid comfortably back in my arms, in total trust just enjoying the ride.

When we got to the bottom, we saw her mom and I held her up high, not unlike Rafiki held Simba in "The Circle of Life" (we are at Disney you know....when in Rome) and just as i felt the smile appear on my face at the realization that my imaginings had come to life,  the lifegaurd blew her whistle and yelled "One at a time on the slide!"  I was a criminal and i was aiding and abetting in the delinquency of a juvenile.  But the look on Bibba's face as she went into her mother's arms was priceless.  She had enjoyed every minute of the ride!!

As she lay sleeping on the chair poolside, I started to think just how amazing it was when she totally trusted in the craziness of our plan.  It made me realize that I want great things for this Bibba and I certainly don't want any hangups to get in her way of taking risks that bring great joy. 

There is a famous quote that says, "It is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."  I never used to agree with that until recently.  Grace Hopper, the famous female Rear Admiral in the US Navy said that and I wonder if she would have made Rear Admiral if she was always running around asking permission.....

so sorry Ms. Lifegaurd, we broke the rules, but boy we had fun riding that slide of life together!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Get ready for a "grand" adventure

My oldest daughter recently introduced me to the world of blogging and I find it fascinating.  Fascinating enough to start my own blog and share my thoughts on being a new grandparent....of course, life is more than one dimensional so this blog will also be my sounding board for being a single woman struggling to make career and relationships work in an economic recession, driven by modern technology. 

I am currently living in Florida, smack dab between the most magical place on earth and the lush beauty of the Gulf coast.  Living in Florida, while my first grandchild resides in Georgia, six hours away, has proved very challenging but I can  (thanks to modern technology) witness most of her firsts, while still living away from her and holding down a fulltime job.  I have only seen her three times in her short seven months but i feel that I know her so well, thanks to my trusty webcam.

What did long distance grandparents ever do without this modern marvel?  I find pictures of her to be sadly lacking in comparision.  I have been able to witness through my computer her first time rolling over at three months, getting up on her knees at four months and standing by herself at six.  Yes, my bibba is advanced!  Do I sound like a proud grandparent? 

Ironically, I have been as proud of my two daughters, but having my first child at nineteen I wasn't able to fully appreciate every little milestone of babyhood, most of the time i will regretfully and honestly say that i took them for granted as the young often do.  Having this new bibba in my life has given me a second chance to experience the wonder of babyhood and all of the joy that it brings and being a young grandmother at the tender age of forty four gives me hope that I can enjoy and grow along with my sweet granddaughter. 

Even as I get ready to post this I am distracted by her cuteness, as she trys to catch each newcomer's eye at Starbuck's, waiting for them to smile back at her beauty.  Grandma is in awe of this baby quality of expecting everyone to have a happy reaction to her existence.  When do we lose that?

She is the flirt, maybe grandma can pick up some tips....that topic will be investigated in future blogs.  Does Bibba need a grandpa paired with her yaya?  Time will tell.   I have already learned so much from this sweet baby in my life.

Bibba has taught me to open my heart again to let love in and to try and take people at face value.  To her young eyes everyone is good and ready to smile at her cuteness.  On that topic, I can't resist her bewitching smile on our grand adventure here at Starbuck's.  She has come to visit Yaya in Florida and we are recuperating from our trip to Disney yesterday....more on that adventure tommorow. 

For now I am going to delight myself in baby kisses and watch in wonder as she smiles at each passerby, while they smile back.........I ask could you resist smiling at this face?

Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to sharing my "grand" adventures with you,   Yaya