Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Growing Gideon (My Love Is Alive)

Today I am taking a break from my "Those Crazy Bohemian" series of blogs. Most of you know that we are grandparents by love to the child next door: Gideon. Most of you know that we are childless by choice and have never regretted it.  And, most of you were probably gobsmacked to find out that - not only are we crazy about the baby next door - I am babysitting weekday afternoons.  Yeah, I know. This crazy bohemian has gone mainstream...at least in this area.

I had babysat on Fridays last year, along with some evenings. This past September I started babysitting for them "full time". Since Gideon does not come over until 11:30, I can write in the mornings, and I also write while he naps in the afternoon.

There is something holy about babydom. Jen, Gideon's mother, calls him magical.  I have to agree. He has changed me (and I would also include Dave) in many ways; all for the good. I have loved deeply before in my life. But this? This love is so powerful, so mind blowing that my eyes fill with tears just watching him take his next breath. Everything he does is magic. Every breath he takes I thank God for. If something happened to him, I would never again be the same.  Not even close.

Since I had no younger brothers or sisters, I never got to watch a child develop on a day by day basis. This spring I pushed him in a stroller and watched as he saw flowers for the first time. Just imagine that. What does the mind think, that very first time our eyes see the intricate beauty of flowers? This fall he was no less impressed with the dried leaves, pods, and grasses.  He could touch them for who knows how long...I stopped and let him touch and wonder, but couldn't stay for as long as he could probably just process. All of a sudden I, too, could see the magic in a single blade of dried prairie grass.

He not only walks now, he runs.  And walks backward. And twirls. The past two weeks he has been walking on tip-toes, and quite proud of it, thank you very much. Every single day he learns something new, becomes a little more advanced. Yesterday he realized that the large Lego blocks didn't just fall apart, he could take them apart piece by piece after Gamma put them together. His brain knew that somehow they go back together. He pressed them together, wrong parts. Any day now it will click. The round part goes into the part where there is emptiness.

He talks, too. No sentences or phrases, but words. More words all of the time. At fourteen months, he is a virtual learning machine. He no longer wants to sit on the floor and play with toys where you press levers. Now it is all about action, about walking, running, being chased, hiding. Balls are a big hit. Of course, when not feeling well (new teeth, cold, etc) he will revert back to less ambitious playing, but that's okay.  It is nice to go back six months every once in awhile, although I would much rather he felt good.

I am so honored to have this brand new person to the planet in my life. It is a privilege to care for him, protect him, and teach him.  I make sure to treat him with not only love, but dignity and respect. His soul will thrive in his body only if those who care for hm do so to the best of their abilities.

Yes, my love is alive. I have known love in many forms. The love I have for my husband is so deep, so timeless that I thought nothing could match it. Believing we have been together several lifetimes, I know we are always together. But this? This love for a child is just as profound, just as deep.

In short, Jen's right: it is magical.

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