June 13, 2005

Departure Lounge

Your Grammy and Grandad have gone home, punkin.

It's a sad but inevitable fact that when your grandparents fly in from overseas to visit us, there comes a time at which they have to go home, which is tough on everyone. It's not an ideal situation, but we're all working on it, and I think that it should be resolved before you get too much older. Of course, I can only exert influence on one half of our extended and very much global family, and it's up to your mum to convince the rest of your relatives to make the move Down Under.

I don't know that it's ever going to be possible to get everyone in the family in the same country at the same time, punkin, but that's always been my aim (then again, it's always been my aim to have the whole family live together under one enormous roof and also all of our friends and, well, we all know that your dad wants to build a commune). Having said that, it's a very handy thing, punkling, to have relatives festooned around the globe.

It is theoretically possible as I type this, punkin, for someone of your peculiar heritage to travel almost entirely around the globe without having to pay for a single night of lodging. Certainly, combined with the travel related benefits that can be bestowed upon one by virtue of one's aunt and uncle in the aerial perambulation industry, this can make for some low-cost journeys across the earth.

Of course, this sort of wandering is either best done in the company of your parents (who else do you know, punkin, who can order a beer in 12 languages?), or at least should wait until you're much older. Certainly, given the collective number of miles the people in this family have flown (which, if we count your aforementioned aunt and uncle, would likely rank somewhere over ten million), we can between us provide you with an almost never ending array of amusing advice and anecdotes about aeroplanes.

This, of course, is taking us away from the central premise of this missive.

Your Grammy and Grandad have gone home. They were of great help to us in this time of need, and we will miss them. We are very very glad that they were able to come so soon after you were born, and we hope that they enjoyed meeting you.

I'm not going to talk to you here, punkin, about how hard it was to say goodbye to them, about how difficult it was for me to walk away from the frosted glass doors that lead through to the departure lounge. I'm not going to talk about how, in those final seconds after we said goodbye, I felt something prickle the back of my neck, and turned around to see your Grammy trying to get one last look at you - to fix the sight of you into her mind to sustain her across the long miles home.

That would hurt too much. Be too personal. It's not something you'll need to know about as you grow older. And I'm not going to say the thing that I thought, over and over and over while we drove away. I'm never going to leave you, punkin. Never. I wouldn't have the strength.

I know that when I'm talking to you now, I tell you that you're never going to understand how much I love you, that the force of this particular feeling will be a mystery to you until you have your own children. Know this now. The strength and fortitude of your Grammy should not be underestimated. For her to remain upright and moving, all the while knowing she was moving away from you, is a sign of immense willpower.

Now that I know how much it's possible to love a tiny human being, I can only assume that parental love is reflected by grandparental love.

Love you, and I'm pretty sure that your Rowdy Grammy does too.


kristen said...

um, that just made me cry...sniff, i think you should bring punkin here to visit grammy and grampy, and well while your all here you can visit me too, you should probably wait til he's older so i can build castles with him at the beach...

rowdygrammy said...

My Darling Bramble,

Rowdy and Grandad are now back in Maine. As your dad said, we started missing you as soon as we walked through those doors. What he didn't think of though was that we are missing him just as much. We are missing all of you - you and your dad and mum and your uncle. In some ways it was harder to leave them than to leave you. As much as I love you, and I'm sure that you will come to love me, it doesn't make much difference to you if I am in Melbourne or not. You aren't missing me - you have plenty of people to love you and look after you. One the other hand, your dad and mum and Uncle David are missing us. As your dad has guessed, it is very hard to leave your child, not matter how old they are.

That being said, we had a wonderful time visiting you. Grandad & I are agreed that you are a truly beautiful and loving child. Both of us can still feel your little hot water bottle body snuggled up to us, as you like to do. It was a delight to see what good parents your mum and dad are, and that Uncle David is watching over you.

Grandad and I are both a bit out of it today - four cases to unpack, and it's raining in Maine.

Life is complicated - we are all doing the best we can. We will visit again as soon as we can. Meanwhile, remember that we love you,


Peanutt said...

Awww, that is so sweet! Congratulations on your baby! Beautiful, beautiful baby!

The Family Man said...

You have created something wonderful here. I've scrolled through many of your posts - your words are so powerful because they come straight from the heart. This journal is/will be a wonderful gift for your child. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

E in Oz said...

Ok, this one put tears in my eyes. It's just really nice to read something so real online these days.
Thanks. :-)

Trish said...

Also crying. I particularly loved Rowdy's comments.

(wrote long mushy comment here, then thought better of it and will instead make it into a post on my own blog... thanks for the inspiration!)

I love your blog, I'm going to keep reading. It's lovely to find a father's perspective, particularly one that is written so beautifully.