My heart is a puddle

My first chance to hold Sunday. Notice her t-shirt - Tutu is my grandmother nickname for this little one

It’s an old saw, “If I’d known how much fun grandchildren would be, I’d have had them first.” In my case, things worked out that way.

I’ve never had children. That’s a long story with some sad chapters, but what it means for me now is that I’ve skipped the hard part and gone straight to the fun. And tonight, my heart is a puddle.

My late-life romantic partner is the reason for this largesse. Robin brought me to Australia for a long stay in 2008-2009. I fell in love with his family and year-old Lily, his son’s first child. Her brother Oscar was born shortly after we returned to Canada. Then last summer Robin’s daughter gave birth to Sunday, a baby we all consider a miracle.

So here it is February 2012. Sunday and one of her mums (Robin’s daughter) met me at the Melbourne airport. I was immediately besotted with a pair of inquisitive blue eyes and a bright smile. Later, we watched Michelle and Miriam, her two mothers, give her the kind of attention and nurturing every child should have. I saw how fortunate she was to have parents who will give her room to develop her unique personality but will also hold her in their sheltering arms through the inevitable rough patches.

We left Melbourne the next day for the Grampians Jazz Festival so it was nearly a week later when we arrived at Robin’s son’s house. Robin has been staying with Darren and Nat since last November. It takes pretty special people to not only encourage him to stay on but welcome his partner as well.

We’re grateful for Skype and for parents willing to find time to help us at least be virtual grandparents, but nothing comes close to the pleasure of being here. Having no experience with small children, I’m learning as I go, and I couldn’t have better teachers than Oscar and Lily. I’d loaded my iPad with some child-friendly apps, hoping if I had enough of them at least one or two would help us move beyond the initial uncertainty we would all be feeling.

The good news is that some of them are hits with the littles. Better news is that these munchkins have hearts big enough to take me in without a tech intervention.

Our weeks in Melbourne will fly by all too quickly, but I plan to store up every morsel of love Lily, Oscar, and Sunday are willing to share. And that’s why my heart is a puddle tonight.

Lily and Oscar

Lily and Oscar making papadams with their dad

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19 comments for “My heart is a puddle

  1. February 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Oh, the sweet! How lucky you all are to have each other.

  2. Tess
    February 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Oh Cathryn, what a gift to feel those little arms reach for you and the eyes engage you…. and what love for them…store up the kisses.

  3. Carrie
    February 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm


  4. February 16, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Cathryn, What a beautiful picture! You both radiate happiness!! Congratulations to the whole family.

  5. February 16, 2012 at 5:08 am

    What a heart-warming post.

    Your grandchildren are beautiful. I hope you’re able to see them again in person soon. 🙂

  6. Geraldine Bush
    February 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

    So happy for you Cathryn, enjoy it while you can the time with the young ones is so fleeting! Good to hear that you are enjoying your stay, but then there’s every reason why you should.

  7. Jan A
    February 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Grandchildren are special but so are grandparents. They are lucky to have you Cathryn. Enjoy every second.

    Jan A

  8. Daddy
    February 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Your anecdotal reflections warm the heart.

    Our sentiments are mirrored. We’re so thrilled to FINALLY have you out of the telly (Skype) and here in person.

    Skype has truly been a wonderful (interim) tool which has meant that when you walked into the house, Oscar and Lily knew exactly who you are, obvious by the immediate engagement in providing news and stories to you!

    We are thrilled to have you both staying here and believe this time will be cherished by the kids forever.

    You are a wonderful grandparent and we too are very lucky indeed.

    :o) All our love, Daz, Nat, Lily and Oscar

  9. February 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Never expected to be given such a glorious gift. Thanks, Jan.

  10. February 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks, Geraldine. The families are making us feel incredibly welcome.

  11. February 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks, Lydia. We’ll be with them a few more weeks and hope it won’t be so long until the next visit.

  12. February 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Life’s so wonderfully unpredictable. I’d never have expected this amazing gift.

  13. February 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    We’re storing up every minute in our overflowing hearts.

  14. February 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Now my heart’s even more of a puddle. You have made me feel so welcome and part of the family. I’m right at the top of luckyt people.

  15. February 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks so much, Leslyn. We’re beaming so much we’re getting new smile wrinkles.

  16. Rose
    February 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Cathryn – Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos – absolutely precious. You look so happy! Enjoy. Hugs, Rose

  17. Carole Bridges
    February 22, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Hi Cathryn,
    Wayne and I just back from Cuba and getting over our tumultuous start. Luckily had two days with granddaughter Arwen in Vancouver. Such a precious time. She is crawling (commando style) and examining everything with her tiny fingers with such concentration it is a wonder to watch so feel your joy and can see it in your face. Much love to you both.

  18. February 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    These days are precious and rare for us so we are taking advantage of every hour. So glad you made it to Cuba and then capped it with two days with Arwen.

  19. February 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Impossible not to beam when we’re around these beautiful children!

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