Wednesday, June 09, 2010


When my plane flew over the Red River Valley south of the Fargo airport last Sunday evening, what struck me was how green everything was. Green fields, green windbreaks around the farms, green ditches between the lanes of I-29—miles and miles of green.

After three weeks of Arizona brown, the green looked almost surreal.

And I felt surreal. My trip to Arizona was really over. No more chasing the sandy-curled Colbie. No more cuddling my two new grandsons, Luke and Tommy, born on May 6 and May 30. I really had gotten on a plane and left them 1,700 miles away.

I felt flat and empty as I grabbed my carry-on bag from the overhead bin and pulled it down the aisle, exiting the airplane. Three women ahead of me, stretched three-abreast across the passenger jet bridge, moved at a snail's pace, completely blocking a speedy exit from the plane. They were old; I should have been patient, but I didn’t feel patient. What I really wanted to do was go back to Arizona.

I hadn’t checked luggage. I had just worn the same clothes over and over (and over and over) again during my three-week stay in Arizona. They have washing machines in Arizona, I had told myself as I had packed just a carry-on suitcase three weeks earlier. Now I was so weary of my clothes I would have liked to set a match to them.

Why hadn’t I stayed another week? I looked down at the sleeve of my shirt and saw that there was a little spit-up near the cuff. It made me lonesome for Tommy and Luke. I searched in my purse for my cell phone to call Tom to tell him that my plane had landed. Instead, I found a small plastic bag containing some crushed Goldfish crackers, a souvenir from an outing I had taken with Colbie. That made me lonesome for Colbie. Tucked down next to my wallet, I found a little envelope—“Grandma,” it read on the outside. It was a note written by my daughter-in-law, thanking me for helping out. It made my nose sting.

I wasn’t really watching where I was going; I was just fumbling for Tom’s cell phone number in my contacts list. Then I heard my name being called. I looked up and there he stood, grinning from ear to ear. He held up a tablet on which he had written my name in magic marker—in case we didn’t recognize each other after three weeks apart. “You are so weird,” I laughed. Tom looked pleased—happy, excited, even grateful—to see me.

And suddenly, it wasn’t so bad to be home again. I had missed the little Frenchman. But at the same time, I wouldn’t have given up those three weeks in Arizona for all the tea in China. What a gift!

What a special gift.

Grandma with Colbie (17 months) and her new brother Luke (born May 6)
Grandma with Tommy (born May 30)


Sabrina, stay at home Career MOM... said...

This is the sweetest blog! It makes me so sad when my parents leave, my little Lunden cried to hard a month ago when they got back on the plane to Fargo. You are such a great Grandma!!!

bd said...

Happy to see you are back too! Hope you can get back to AZ to cuddle those little ones again soon!