October 11
People who have gone through sorrow are more sympathetic than others, not so much because of what they know about sorrow, but because they know more about happiness. They appreciate its value and its fragility, and welcome it wherever it may be. The Puritan attitude which grudges happiness belongs only to those who have never entered very deeply into life. ----- Freya Stark, Beyond Euphrates


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JANUARY 6, 2010 6:35PM

"A" Big Goodbye

Rate: 31 Flag


Last night I was out visiting my daughter and grandsons at their OTHER grandparents' house.  My daughter was frantically trying to pack everybody's Christmas haul into the same suitcases that brought their absolutely necessary items when they came back in mid-December.

 My mission was to occupy the little boys so that their Mom could focus.  So, I draped a blanket over my head and proceeded to make monster sounds, while walking Frankenstein-like around the room "looking" for dinner.  The squeals of those two kids were like angels singing (to me anyway).  We soon forgot about the blanket and just chased each other around the entire upstairs.  This is particularly fun since there's a jack-and-jill bathroom between two of the bedrooms and all those doors make for great hiding places to spring out and catch unsuspecting kids.

When the take-out dinner arrived, we all arranged ourselves around the television to watch video from the boys' respective school Christmas programs.  Adorable, of course.

Next it was bath time.  This is an easy job nowadays because both boys are perfectly capable of cleaning themselves (and do).  Last night Ben (5 yr-old) regaled me with a fascinating story about two bad guys who travel to the North Pole, find a door under the North Pole Ocean, hidden under the sand and travel through the door down a very long dark tunnel (so dark they had to use their special eyes to see -- plus, they brought candles) and finally they found Santa's Toy Workshop, where they commenced to destroy everything and everyone -- all the elves and even Santa.  (If you're shocked at this, you haven't been around little boys lately, have you -- and no, this is not a sexist comment.)

I made the assertion that Santa has an "invisible" cloak and he covered up himself, the elves and the reindeer  and got away -- but Ben assured me that the bad guys' special eyes could even see through "unvisible" cloaks.

He then told me about how they used their light sabers to cut Santa in half, and took his bones with them and made a droid out of Santa.  (As in, "these are not the droids you are looking for.")

After the traditional 5 minute count down, both boys were out of the bathtub, in their pj's and reading Thomas the Tank Engine.  Liam was really about to fall asleep, but Ben was wired.  Their Mom came in to cuddle (till they go to sleep) so I began my good-nights.  The little boys don't grasp that this is the last time we'll be seeing each other for awhile, and I don't try to force it on them.  I just gave each a little kiss and said goodbye.

 My daughter and I said goodbye downstairs and I left.  I was halfway down the sidewalk when I hear "good-bye!!!!" and turn to see Ben in the doorway -- jumping up and down saying good-bye.  I ran back to him and he literally jumped into my arms -- just like a freakin' movie.  Of course, Liam roused himself to join in, too, so we had a "personal" hug (that's what Ben calls really good hugs) before I went home.

Today I'm on the verge of tears -- and especially enjoying the tear-jerker posts I'm reading today ('cause I can't bring myself to cry about them being gone for a few hours, but I really feel like crying about it).

I'll just go home and watch a sad movie on Netflix and get it all out of my system.



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So sweet. But now you have something to look forward to. June's not so far away. The way the damn time is going these days!!!
Sounds like heaven . . . and purgatory.
It wouldn't have hurt as much if it hadn't been so much fun. Sounds like a very Merry Christmas!
I was chuckling at the imagination of your grandsons, and the chasing each other around the house. Oh what fun and enjoyable times like that our with grandsons. I raised two girls, and now have two grandsons, and OH Man the fun we have wrestling, sword fighting, hide and seek, and even the game of throwing rubber bugs at each other. I wouldn't trade those times for anything in the world. I don't know what I would do if I lived further away from them.
I really enjoyed your adorable and cute story about your grandsons. I can feel your hurt of wanting to cry when you have to leave them. {{HUGS}} bug hugs to you grandma.. They are the best aren't they..
These kind of goodbyes are heart wrenching but temporary. Time passes quickly. You are light that will always shine in your grandsons' eyes.
i'm reading this and i can hear in my head my granddaughter yelling "nana" as she leaped on me last month. nothing like it. and i love your solution for when you get home: watch sad movies and cry 'til it's all out. that works. very good piece, skel.
Kids are great. I'm glad you got to spend some time with them.
oh so lovely!
We had a poignant Christmas without Grandma - my nieces and nephew were struggling. All I can say is, no matter how little, Grandma's really make a huge impression on kids. They are almost mythical. I know it is a role you inhabit with comfort, grace, generosity and beauty.
Kids. Thank g*d for kids.
I just love this story. You told it so well and personal.
June will come. The kids will be waiting for you.
And waiting to jump out and say hello again.
Thanks for this. It brings tears of joy
Ahhhh!! Sweet. Rated.

"He then told me about how they used their light sabers to cut Santa in half, "

Yep, that's about right!! :)
I so understand! My daughter and I are getting web cams so my first granddaughter and I can see each other and talk until March or possibly June when we can get together again! I so get it....
Well of course you’re feeling like crying. How could you not be? Ben and Liam? How could two boys have better names? (Ah, that’s the Irish in me talkin’ sure.)

And of course the bad guys destroyed Santa's Toy Workshop, all the elves and even Santa. They were bad guys.

I’d say after writing this absolutely beautiful piece - especially when your emotions are in such a tether - a good cry is a reward for a job well done - both as a writer and as Frankengramma.

Rated and appreciated.
awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww ... what a heart you have :) lucky, lucky little boys.
Goodbye is such a sad word. I feel you. June is coming...
Sarah... I've got my Sebastian right here in my home, and I realize and remind myself how lucky I am. Someday I fear he may move away, so I store all of those "personal hugs" and rumpussing memories too. I can just see you running through the Jack and Jill bathrooms and through the bedrooms... such joy. You're a lovely grandma (Sebastian calls me "abuela"). Tears are called for in this situation.... xo
Good read and beautiful snippet of life.
While reading this I experienced many feelings, but the punch line, "I'll just go home and watch a sad movie on Netflix and get it all out of my system," is simply, wisdom.
You are such a good grandma!
I'd be crying, too. I feel the same way ab out my daughter having gone back to college last week. I texted her last night, "I hate college."

Sweet, adorable boys. How happy they are to have you for their grandmother.
Awww, sweet boys. I can't begin to imagine how hard it must be to say goodbye to them. You cry, girl. You're entitled.
Do I understand how you feel? You bet I do. My post tomorrow relates to a very similar situation. We are both such MOTHERS! I wouldn't have it any other way. I have extra kleenex if you need them.
May all your "goodbye"s be temporary with an expiry date on them.
I know though, it is a sweet sorrow.
Cherish the thoughts, look forward to many more. Take care, they are missing you also. older/exasperated