I met my pregnant daughter for breakfast at “Bobby E’s” this morning after her doctor’s appointment. We like to meet at Bob Evans because it’s close to her house, their oatmeal is almost as good as Clarion’s County Seat restaurant – not overcooked, perfectly sticky and chewy – but mostly because we always meet there. It’s tradition. I’ll take g-baby there on those mornings when it’s just the two of us, like my father used to bring me to Dud’s in Jasper for pancakes. I shared Dad with four siblings, my mom, and a 60-hour-a-week job. Our restaurant time was super-condensed “us” time.
We left my car at the restaurant (because Cassie, even though her belly almost meets the steering wheel, insists on driving in P’burgh) and went shopping. She needed a few things before the baby arrives anytime now. We went to Motherhood Maternity for some nursing “necessities,” and we thought about buying her sister some PeePee Teepees just in case the baby is a boy. Carlene babysat a lot when she was a teenager and was peed on by many a little baby boy. You pop one of these cutely decorated teepees over a baby boy’s little winkie and, if he gets a chill before you get that diaper on, you won’t get shot in the eye. For $10 it will be a good investment, but I’ll wait to buy them until I know if G-baby has a winkie or not.
We met Carlene for lunch and the three of us talked and laughed like we always do, in shorthand language that most people can’t decipher. Carlene had to get back to work after 30 minutes and I missed her the second she walked out the door. Same feeling different day. It’s that ache and drop in your stomach. You know the one. It happens every time you say goodbye to someone you love and won’t see for a few days, a few months, or a few years. It hurts and there’s no escaping it.
Cassie and I drove back to Bob Evans and I loaded my bags in my car (obviously I “needed” a few things, too), hugged her goodbye, patted her tummy, and got in my car. She drove away just ahead of me, and where I turned right to get on the highway, she went straight, and my heart ached and I wanted to follow her home and hang out a little longer and not have to say goodbye so soon. But she needed a nap and I needed to get home and I reminded myself that I’ll be back there on Saturday and the week after that and the week after that. But it didn’t make the missing her go away.
God I’m getting sappy in my old age.
I just love my kids so much. I remember waking up the morning after giving birth to Carlene and thinking, “Hmmm…something’s different. Wait! I had a baby last night!” And the love affair began. Now Cassie is on the verge of feeling the same way. And what about how I’ll feel about G-baby? How will I ever be able to leave him and drive 70 miles home? I’m beginning to understand how my mother felt when I left Minnesota and moved her granddaughters to Pennsylvania 17 years ago. She told me she cried for weeks, the ache in her heart was so overwhelming.
I know lots of folks whose grandkids live hundreds and thousands of miles away. That’s gotta damn near kill them saying goodbye. Because if it’s anything like saying goodbye to my children, I’m in trouble.
P.S. I want to say a very special thank you to all of the overwhelming support you sent after I posted my “Windshield” blog. I am humbled and grateful for your emails. Sometimes I feel like I write in a vacuum, only because it’s just me and a keyboard and three sleeping dogs at my feet in my dining room during the blog writing and posting process. But you assured me I’m not alone and that my words matter. I promise not to be the yellow finch who flies away. Again, thank you for your kindness. I was feeling so very low and your words were a huge comfort.