It’s 6 am and I’m sitting on the tarmac at Newark Airport, a little annoyed by the delay. Waking up at 4 am, rushing around like my house was on fire, racing to the airport, missing the exit, silently screaming at the thought that I might miss my plane, only to hurry up and wait. Thirty minutes later the plane was enveloped by blue skies and billowy white clouds. Heading south to the home I didn’t realize how much I missed until that very moment, felt surreal.
Seven weeks earlier, I received a call at 2:36 in the morning. As I gripped the phone, clutching my chest, because after all, a phone call post midnight brings nothing good, my daughter was on the line. “Kelly’s water broke”, she said, “and we’re on our way to the hospital.” At the beginning of Kelly’s pregnancy, we made a pact that I was going to take care of Kai, my 20-month-old grandson, when Kelly went into labor. I would then stay on for approximately a month to help them transition from a family of 3 to a family of 4. The fact that Kelly was two weeks early put a tiny wrinkle in the plan.
As I threw a months’ worth of “stuff” into my suitcase, wondering out loud if I was bringing the right clothes or enough clothes, my daughter booked my flight. Trying to remember to cancel any and all appointments I had for the upcoming week was challenging but I got it done. Now that the new baby was knocking on the world’s door, my thoughts shifted to the day Kelly called me to let me know that they were naming their new son after my mother, Grace Lee. I immediately welled up with tears. My mother, who was so loved and dear to all of us, passed away 6 years ago. The realization that Kelly and Brooke were honoring my mother this way moved me beyond words.
My husband and I had planned to drive from Florida to New Jersey together, taking in the sights and stopping off to see relatives along the way but Greyson, our beautiful new grandson, had other plans.
My son met me at the airport and in short order I was at the door picking up Kai. Living in Florida, 1200 miles away from him, initially filled me with angst, “will he remember me?”, “will we be close?”, “will our connection continue to be strong?” My daughter and I did our very best to maintain our relationship and to keep me, “Gram”, ever present in his life. Almost every day we face timed, made frequent impromptu visits, and of course phone calls, sometimes multiple times a day. As I opened the door, my heart melted as Kai jumped into my arms, so happy to see me. As we climbed the stairs to his home I knew all was right with the world.
Kai and I could not wait to meet the new baby, after all Kai was now a BIG brother. I held my breath in anticipation, because Kai was used to being the only one, the prince, our everything…. how was he going to react to this new baby? Would jealousy factor in? Being only 20 months, I worried that he was too young to fully understand what his new baby brother would mean to his life.
From the very first moment Kai laid his eyes on Greyson, all I saw was love, intense love. I kept waiting to see some form of jealously, some minor or major irritation, something………but to my wonderful surprise, Kai was just as in love with Greyson as we all were and are.
Greyson Lee bounded his way into this world 2 weeks early, 7 pounds 13 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long. Perfect from head to toe. Insatiable hunger, not fond of pacifiers, round beautiful cheeks, and oh so loveable. Rolling over at 6 weeks, how is that possible??, At 5 weeks, gaining more than 3 pounds since his birth……. really??? With each passing day, Greyson lets us know he is a force to be reckoned with!! I can’t wait to witness the trajectory of his life. I just know he is going to be a very special young man.