Our daughter spent the better part of last week in hospital dealing with a postpartum infection. The great gift of our location is that the hospital is so constructed as to allow my son-in-law and freshly minted granddaughter to stay in the same room.
Care taking the other two children meant the four member team of grandparents was activated.
Since two and five-sixths year old Grace is accustomed to being with us one day a week she came “until Momma better.”
The first couple of days were cast as an adventure with Grandma and Papa. Sleepovers, stories, swimming, and dancing were just the highlights. Time away from her bigger than life older brother meant 100% attention 24 hours a day.
Then the quieter moments began to emerge. “I miss my Momma.”
Reassurance followed. “Momma is getting better so she can come home and take care of you.”
Hugs were required.
As the days went by the number of hugs increased as Grace’s litany expanded. “I love my Momma. I love my Daddy. I love my brother. I love my little sister. I love my family.”
Reassurances and a rehearsal of updated timelines, depending upon medical reports, followed.
Our daughter is now home and all are back in their proper places and routines. Celebration and relief abound.
For me a couple of things stick.
One, I was reminded of how closely linked are experience and word. Neither hugs nor words of assurance by themselves would have proved sufficient. We all needed to hear appropriate truthful words and to feel the love in ways that bypassed the brain and the mouth.
Second, some days I wondered who was providing the care. Job descriptions could be deceptive. Papa does breakfast, pasta for lunch, general cleanup and other duties as assigned. Grandma handles the dancing, helping Grace choose the beautiful outfit for the day, navigating nap time, the supper menu and emotional crises.
But sometimes as Grace snuggled in with one of her patented hugs I wondered who was comforting whom.
“Momma come home soon Papa.”