Your sister falls softly into the space between Grandpa and the light green chair. She lifts both legs and props her puffy little feet on the arm with her head resting against your grandpa. She rotates, pushes a series of buttons and tastes an unused remote after Grandpa removed the batteries for her. He reads a book, you play on the floor and I watch all of you, wishing you many hours of this kind of relaxed play over at your tent this summer. I am hoping Mom finds value in these kinds of moments. Today my thoughts are focused on your mommy. Not you or Liza, well Liza, too. For now you are cared for, watched closely for signs of hunger, health and well-being, signs of excessive tension. We offer you water, good food, love, stories and play time. But what does your mommy need?
One thing Mommy needs is Liza. That’s for sure. She may even think she is Liza. She is at times confused if its sissy that feels tired or mommy. So sure that Liza is full because mommy just ate, warm because mommy is bundled up and grumpy when mommy is. I dress your sister, change her, wash her little crusty hands and pick fuzz from her finger slots. I feed her and each time she gobbles up what I offer. Today I spent four hours with you and Liza and discovered that I could manage. More than that, I loved it. Thank goodness, because I will take care of you both after your mom figures out what mommy will do during the week. She has to go someplace to get training or a job. She promised. So she came here to live.
Mommy and Daddy have to get better at keeping their promises. Your Montana Grandma sent me a long letter telling me some things about your mommy that I didn’t really want to hear about. They were things that your Montana grandma needed to work out with Mommy. She seemed frustrated. Angry. But one of the things was a problem keeping agreements. That’s what we all are going to work on this summer. Making agreements and keeping promises. Mommy and Daddy may need a different way than I am used to, so I have to get really clever and very sure first of all. We cannot manage up here together unless we are honest and talk about the hard things. Okay buddy? If we say we will, we do.
Besides gophers, chilly babies, hungry kids and flowers that become beans, there are so many lessons to share. We have to include Mommy and Daddy sometimes, too. Even when your mommy feels so injured that she goes to lie down. And says she is too tired. We will get her up, to get her going. We have to. She has to join the effort to keep your family chugging along. Even though she may say that all is fine; that she’s a good mommy and doing everything she can. Deep inside, she knows other things. Some of them are hard things to think about. Some hold her back from being a good mommy. We’ll have to find the key to a happier time in your mommy’s life.
We need a mentor, a catalyst, a magician. Maybe its Liza. Maybe a mom-baby play group. Maybe. Let’s think on it while you push Liza on the red swing I hung on the deck. Swing, swing, swing, swing. Push me like that, gma. Okay climb in. Your turn. Maybe your mommy could fit and I’ll swing her like this. I bet she could use a song, too. gma