I am having Baby Gracie withdrawals! I hadn't seen her since last weekend. She looks more like a toddler than a baby now. She is babbling and laughing. Smiling and sitting up straight. She has a strong grasp. I know this because she was sitting on my lap earlier with her teething toy in one hand and other tiny little hand on my arm. She has not quite figured out independent hand movement. Because as she gripped her teething toy, she also pinched my arm.
And let me tell you, this girl is strong!
I spent the night last night. She fussed quite a bit before bedtime, but between my daughter nursing her, rocking her to sleep, putting her in the crib, and then her immediately waking back up, and my walking with her, she finally dozed off. And slept all the way through the night! My daughter tells me she has not done this since the last time I was there. My theory is that she feels very secure sleeping in the same room with a snoring grandma!
This morning, she woke up about 7:00 a.m. I heard her kicking and talking to herself. I walked to the crib and there was her head at the other end! She had kicked her way around the crib, 360 degrees to the other side. I looked down at her upside down face. She looked at me and broke out in the biggest grin!
I scooped her up, changed her and sat with her on the rocking chair. I read her some poetry and we hung out until her mom got up about an hour later.
The next few hours sped be. She is such a joy. My heart hurt as I departed to return to Portland to teach this afternoon. It was a familiar feeling. Like the first day of kindergarten for my kids. First shots. First sleepovers away from home. Empty nest. I sighed on the Max train. I told myself to be thankful for the time with her. For all of my family, for that matter. And to look forward to all the time with my piano students.
I bought a cheer me up Citrus Defender tea from Starbucks and sipped it as I walked through the rain to the music center.
I looked up and my heart sunk even further as I saw the Original Taco House. Empty and dark. Not a car in the parking lot.
They closed suddenly New Year's day. Not that it was the best food, but the place had sentimental value. I would occasionally go there with my kids. We knew several of the servers. Over the years, no matter how long we had been away, they would remember us. One of the servers would show up with the special green salsa I liked.
Sigh. Life is short isn't it?
On the way home tonight, I was bundled up on the bus. It was quite cold. I was thankful for the body heat from the people packed into the seats. We were all in various states of layered clothing. I had leggings, pants, wool socks, boots cuffs, boots, a t-shirt, sweater, coat, hat and gloves. I was shocked to see a young man - a very buff young man - hop on the bus with a tank top and jeans on! I didn't maintain eye contact, I've learned not to in Portland, on the bus, or pretty much anywhere in Portland. You keep to yourself, and people don't usually bother you. But for a second our eyes met. His teeth were chattering.
I looked out the window. And my stomach lurched. The Fred Meyer's I had spent many years at, when I lived with my daughter and her husband, was vacant. A big fence surrounded the property. It looked very dark. And sad.
I felt a little sad. But then I shook it off. Restaurants and stores close. People move, grow up, people eventually die. But I am still alive. And I have many people who matter to me.
I am going to go to bed early tonight with a smile on myself. Thinking about my granddaughter, my daughter, my son, my whole family, my students, my friends. I am going to count my blessings tonight.
And I will talk to you tomorrow!
P.S. I didn't go to the gym today. Quite sore from yesterday! But I hooped this morning. Day 213! And I walked at least 2 miles as usual. A body in motion stays in motion!