Your little brother will soon arrive and before he gets here, I wanted to tell you how very special it has been to have you as my first grandson, my only grandchild for the past nearly three years. In the seemingly short 35 months since you were born, you have rocked my world in ways I never imagined could happen.
Your entry into the family stretched my heart as it had never been stretched before. My heart swelled so as I held you, hugged you, swaddled you like the sweetest little burrito and kissed your downy face, a replica of your mommy’s 24 years before. That first time I left you to return home, my swollen heart burst into a million pieces at having to leave you, my arms literally ached for you for weeks after — muscle memory most raw.
Your mommy and I did our very best to ensure my arms would hold you as often as possible despite all the miles between us. Every couple of months, I would visit your home or you would visit mine. My heart would sing and swell again as my arms held you. But each time we were together, the amount of time holding you became less as you became so much more. So much more active, so much more silly, so much more independent, so much more boy.
The “boy” experience was a new one for me, as your mommy, Aunt B and Aunt Andie were my only babies, and baby girls are far different from baby boys … and not just when it comes to changing diapers. You were more active, more daring, more monkey-like than any of my girls. Stories from your mommy about the bruises and bangs and head-bonks you’ve endured while jumping off furniture, racing your cars around the house, playing chase with Daddy, and wrestling (and riding) Roxy made my heart swell in a different way: with panic and fear for your safety and well-being. But also with pride that your mommy, as protected as she was by me, had learned through you how to let go and let you be who you are, what you are: all boy.
I’ve loved your rough and tumble all-boy antics. Such pleasure comes from watching you run through the house, giggle your way down slides, chase after balls and balloons and bubbles, tussle with your dog, build tower trucks, race fire trucks, wholeheartedly adore garbage trucks, and furiously peddle your bike while calling for me to "be police” and chase you.
Part of what makes such things doubly delightful is the flip-side of those times. The sweet blown kisses and “squeezes” and “cheeses.” The moments snuggled together sharing books. The steadfast attention given to coloring, drawing, gluing, Play-Dohing, creating. The singing, dancing, smiling, sharing. Your newfound ability to joke, to compliment, and to say the truly darnedest things I've ever heard (especially when you lock yourself and Gramma out of the house).
My great and goofy — and downright gorgeous! — grandson, you were my first. You were the one to make me a grandma, to teach me that although my heart can break into a million pieces upon leaving you, it will grow back bigger and stronger each and every time I think of you, see you, hug you, hold you, hear you.
I am better because of you. I became “Gramma” because of you. And for that, my sweet Bubby James, you will always and forever be a most special part of this grandma’s soon-to-be-expanding-again heart.
I love you!
When does your heart feel most swollen to capacity?