In my mind’s eye, I planned all the things we could do together as she grew up. But then reality loomed large in front of me and it stumped me. How was I going to interact with her? As an infant, it was easy enough to hold her and interact with her (if she wasn’t sleeping!). I feared that as she got older I wouldn’t be able to hold her and then what would I do? What would happen to the very special relationship I dreamed of having with my sweet Karaleen?
Well, I should known better. Not to worry! Karaleen is a very sweet and pleasant toddler. She greets each day with her big beautiful smile. When she sees me she screams out, “Meemaw!” --(her very own name for me!).
She comes up to the wheelchair and tries to lock or unlock the chair. While saying over and over., “Meemaw! Meemaw!” in what I can only assume is her attempt to have me go whatever direction she is currently headed.
During my last two visits with her, we watched her favorite show, “The Mickey Mouse Club”; she entertained me by dancing and clapping her hands when “Mick” Mouse ( as she calls him) and his friends end up back at the clubhouse and dance and sing. She joins right in!
Somehow, I think she knows instinctively that I love books—reading and writing them. After she was finished dancing, she grabbed one of her books, clambered up next to me on the sofa and pointed out the people and objects pictured on the different pages. When she was finished doing that, she turned to the front of the book again. This time, she pointed at the words and began “reading” to me. Of course, I didn’t understand what she was saying. But I understood what she was doing. She was making our time together accessible! Love has a way of doing that.
Karaleen is, in a worrd, simply amazing. When Jeff and Katie call or when we Skype and she doesn't hear my voice or see me, she keeps repeating my name, "Meemaw" until she hears my voice. When we visit she peeks out the door and then runs happily into the house doing what she loves to do when she is happy but lacks the words to express herself--screaming!! It is really quite a heartwarming sight and makes me feel so wanted and welcomed!
To read the companion story, "A Grandma's Heart" that was written a week after Karaleen was born and published in Chicken Soup for the Grandmother's Soul last year, please click on the following link:
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