This weekend was exciting, perhaps too much so. I can't absorb or quite comprehend all of it. My granddaughter Robin was here all weekend, the refugee children landed at Bedlam Farm, an emotional visit, and we are getting a puppy named Leroy, a Boston Terrier, the first small dog I have ever owned.
My head is spinning. One of my goals this weekend was to help my daughter Emma get some rest. This was hard to do. Robin was up much of the night, she is getting a cold, and Maria and I were swamped with work and visitors and exhausted ourselves. I do not recall being so tired.
Another was getting to know Robin better. This was successful. She knows me now, I think she loves me now.
In the mornings, I was successful in getting Emma to go back to sleep and I spent some precious hours with Robin, and also with Maria. We took Robin all over the town – the book store, garage sales, and this morning, to the Ace Hardware store where we usually bring Red or Fate.
We sat on the grass, visited the donkeys, stared at chickens.
They have a jar or biscuits for the dogs at the hardware store, but don't dare hand out cookies to babies. Phil was happy to hold Robin while I took their photo, the hardware store is a big part of our community and I wanted to bring Robin there. She and I did bond this trip, we got to know one another, and, I think, love one another.
Phil is a very nice man and hard worker there, I was glad to hand the baby over to him while I went to look for my bungee cords. I love living in a small town. Phil never blinked.
We smile whenever we see one another, and we have a pirate connection, Emma admits she sees it too. I loved being with her, and this is why I am so guarded about going mad over a grandchild, at noon tomorrow, she will be on a train back to Brooklyn and we will be out of one another's lives again.
That is just the nature of life, and I accept life, I make my own life now wherever I am. Family is a part of it, but it is up to me to fashion a full and meaningful life where I am. I am working hard on that, with Maria's love and support. I am committed to working with refugees and immigrants and eager to finish my next book and start another, and eager to bring home this new dog.
This weekend, I endured the first inevitable wave of the Self-Righteous, telling me how to get a dog without even being asked. Can you imagine?
I am already thinking of how I will train Leroy to be a therapy dog and live with Fate and sit and stay and come when called.
Robin and I got to a deeper level, but as I have said before, there are many geographic and emotional obstacles to our getting a lot closer. She is going her way, and I am going mine.
She will be on my mind and in my heart in a new and deeper way after this visit, I love her will and thoughtfulness and wonderful smile. She has a sparkle in her soul.
We dance whenever we see one another, waving and jiggling back and forth, and I make the dumbest noises and sounds to get her to smile.
Maybe this is how this kind of love works, you go one step at a time, and just keep on going. People tell me all the time how much their grandfathers meant to them, how much they shaped and saved their lives. That will not, I believe, be the story Robin tells down the road.
I will not, I think, be around often enough or long enough to make that kind of difference.But what happened between us this weekend was rich and deep and good, and I am grateful for it and grasp it's meaning. Tomorrow, I will sneak into Emma's room (with her permission) and pick up the baby again and bring her downstairs and change her diapers and give her bottle and clean her bottom and change her clothes.
I will give her Cheerios and plain yoghurt, mashed spinach and pear.
This comes easily and naturally to me. Maria will get up also and we will take Robin out into the barn or the pasture, or maybe into town to walk down Main Street. We have finally figured out how to work her stroller, we can do this.
And then Robin and Emma will be off, and a piece of my heart will surely go off with them, they are both so important to me. I am grateful for my life, but there is nothing that can replace that.
And yes, my heart will sink when I see the train pull away with such a precious cargo, such a large piece of my life.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.