The last ten months would have been unimaginably harder without you.
You came to the hospital an hour or two after Peeper was born. Your grin didn’t even fit on your face when you met your granddaughter, your first-ever and only grandbaby.
Even amidst your new grandma duties, though, you remained my mom: You brought me a smoothie and asked the nurses questions about my recovery.
About a month later, I called you. You thought the phone had gone dead because I didn’t speak at first. There was nothing wrong with the cell reception; I just couldn’t talk because I was crying so hard.
I had been to the lactation clinic earlier that day and everything had gone terribly wrong. My evening looked like this: Two hands were occupied operating the breast pump; one foot rocked a screaming Peeper in her bassinet; the other foot pet Finn and tried to keep him from biting an infected hot spot. And the noise—between her crying and the whomp whomp of the pump, the noise was overwhelming. Peeper wailed and wanted to be picked up but I couldn’t hold her and work that
torture device machine at the same time.
So I called you.
That night, you came to my rescue. You left within minutes of my call and drove the two hours to Portland (though much less for you, I’m sure, as you zoomed up I-5). You fed me, held your granddaughter while I pumped, walked Finn and didn’t say anything when I escaped to the shower to cry.
Things have gotten so. much. easier. since those grueling months, yet you are still an integral part of our lives. You take care of Peeper every week so I can write and help provide for my family.
When you crack open the door upon your arrival and call out, “Hellooooooo,” Peeper sucks in her breath and flaps her arms—her signal for excitement. Her happiness to play with you doesn’t abate as you read books, go for walks, sing, stack blocks and—of course—take selfies.
The time you spend together helps me on a practical level—I’m able to head to the library and write for several solid hours at a time, which could never happen if I were at home. But it benefits me in a non-utilitarian way, too.
It makes me feel so good that Peeper is loved by more than just me and Eric. You and her grandpa adore her, and as she grows up, that unconditional love will make her feel secure and safe.
I felt that support from you as my mother, and it is a priceless gift that you’re giving to Peeper.
You may have loved me first, but I love you still.
Happy Mother’s Day.