Searching for the right thing

10 more days.  Waiting for anything gets good when you reach the number that matches the number of fingers we have on our two hands. To complete the countdown,  let’s start by holding your two hands out in front of you with your palms facing out.  Begin with 10 on the left pinky and move across the left hand down to the thumb dip with 6, hop over to the right hand with 5 days left on the right hand’s thumb and across. Then while I am on the airplane, it’s another pinky day.  The last one.

So, buddy, I’ll see you on my right hand pinky day.  Got it?

That all made perfect sense to me.  And I found it rather fun. Sharing thoughts with a three-year old is really hard with 1240 miles between us. I can’t put you in my lap and talk, show you or listen as you tell me. You don’t really receive these letters, you know.  They are eye and ear snacks for me and my friends.  I have not yet found a satisfactory way to share a bit of my life, your Bonny Doon home or Grandma time with you.  What is it you need, buddy? I have been trying to figure it out.

I have some ideas because I know you and  I also asked for help.  Some friends who know about kids and families made some suggestions.  But since I am their friend, maybe they were gentle with me; not quite forthcoming.  That means that when I told them I thought that you needed me and I had to keep in touch they agreed. Afterall, I saw you every single day that I was here.  And when I travelled, you and grandpa hung out.  Your well-being was tied to us.  What’s it tied to now?

Sometimes I wonder if I should let go and let you be there and stop trying so hard to reach you? Originally I called you every few days.  I wanted to call you everyday. But you were never alone to listen and tell me things.  Someone wants the phone, you see a toy or food is on the table and you have to get to it.  And actually, you are three.  Phones are not effective.

What else?  I send you little letters about our daily life and sometimes a picture of the dogs, the Christmas tree or something like the dry leaves, moss and a tea bag.  I sent you a packet of note cards, stamps and address labels all ready to send back if you want to talk to me, too.  I told your daddy and mommy to write me a note now and then.  I haven’t gotten any yet.  Maybe you are really busy.  I sent your daddy a computer camera for Skype.  That’s what we do with the Boulder kids.  Grandpa and I love it.  The kids there like it for a few minutes at a time.  Last time baby Lindsey kicked over mommy’s coffee and Kalen was driving his motorcycle through it after Ella left too  cranky to talk.  Bye, said Tab.  That’s okay.  Its fun to see all of it.  What else would work for you?I think you just have to come here for a visit.

I finished the book I was writing and will bring a copy to Billings.  I wanted you to see me making it.  That’s good stuff watching people create things.  We have ideas, change them, throw something away, give up, start again and then change it and its different from we thought.  Often better.  The journey into a creative project is always worth sharing.  The way it consumes me while I work, into the night, the next day and the way I never quite want to stop changing it.  That’s what I want you to know about.  I mean you do need to brush your teeth, change your socks, wash down there and eat veggies.  All of those things, too.  But grandpas and grandmas are for this other part.  The character lessons.  Did I just say that? It’s late and I am blathering.  Maybe an occasional blather is good stuff too.

Hey today I saw your handprints on my car window.  They still show there in the middle part surrounded by dog nose smears.  It’s on the side where your car seat used to be.  Now its Metro’s seat. Maybe he’s pretending he’s you.

Goodnight buddy, tell your mommy to make sure you brush your teeth and all that stuff, but you also tell her to draw and paint and write so you can witness her trying, making a mistake, fixing it and then standing back, both of you, and having a look at it together. These are the most important kind of lessons. Love to you and your sister, gma

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