Sanders: My surprise trip to see my granddaughter
After thinking it would be months before I saw the new granddaughter, I ended up going to Ann Arbor for a week to help take care of her.
Although I remembered how small a two-week old is, it is still an awakening to see those tiny feet and hold that tiny body. I had forgotten the many cute little noises they make and that when they drink from a bottle, I could hear and feel the milk as it descended. The sighs, the very brief smiles, the slurping like a little piglet during feeding, all of these memories came back.
After the first three days I could see a pattern. Up from a nap she’d eat, play, then get the hiccups. And when they were done she’d eat again, then sleep.
She’s breastfed and her momma pumps so the babe continues with that regimen. She soon discovered a receiving blanket with black and white penguins on a hot pink background. She stared at it and “talked” to it all the while she was being changed.
Sometimes I sat beside her changing table as she continued her conversations. She’s an easy baby which made it all the more fun. She has one brother and three sisters who round out the family.
An airplane was my only transportation choice. Driving takes 2 1/2 days while the flying time was three hours. It was a gentlewoman’s schedule going out as I left Rapid City at 10:30 in the morning, two hours in Minneapolis and arrival by 6:30 in the evening.
After going through three time zones from Mountain to Eastern, I wasn’t really sure what time it was the first day. College friends that I had not seen since our wedding 43 years ago picked me up so my daughter-in-law didn’t have to traipse out with five children. Our son was away for the week on job-related schooling and I was there to help out as needed.
The flying was the odd part. We dress for ease of shoe removal and the real possibility of planes not flying on time for various reasons, in other words, dress is as casual as can be.
I saw a few people with books and a few with e-readers, but mostly I observed nearly everyone had ear buds in and was watching a movie or listening to something. There was extremely little human interaction, even by individuals within family groups. It didn’t matter whether people were waiting to board or on the plane. It seemed weird but it is likely how the world lives these days.
The biggest disappointment along that line was there was a flight to Paris on Air France in the other half of my seating area. I sauntered over hoping to hear French again, but it was quiet; again everyone had plugs in their ears.
The upside was, surprisingly, all of my flights were on time and my bag made it to my destinations. Now that I’ve had my tiny baby fix, I’m back in the land of icy yards and snowbanks.❖
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