Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mother Nature shouts “BOO”, but Bailey is safe and happy

Despite the weather, Lauren and Bailey are all smiles!

I think one of the perks of being a Pops is that one day down the road Bailey will make her way over to my house and her Bubbe and I will have a grand sleepover with our beautiful granddaughter.

We’ll build a little castle of sheets and towels that will spill across the living room and play hide-and-seek around the house, then drink hot chocolate and watch cartoons into the night. I’m a little exhilarated and exhausted just thinking about it all.

That said, thanks to Mother Nature our chance to bond with Bailey in such a Norman Rockwell fashion has given way to stark reality. For the last week or so Bailey, now an aging newborn of three months, has been living out her babyish days and nights with Bubbe and me.

She comes with an entourage – her mom, dad and two doggie sisters: Maggie and Ella Rufus!
The temporary move was made after a blast of artic air gripped the Land of Cotton, just about the same time as one of the furnaces at Bailey’s home decided to call it quits. Bailey and her mom bundled up and settled in with us while her dad remained home – an oh-so chilly but necessary decision. Hey, somebody had to watch the dogs!

A short two days later and the cold snap played itself out. Bailey and her mom headed home. What they stumbled into when they reached their house had them – Bailey, her mom, dad and the dogs – all momentarily reeling and in search of sanctuary.

I’ll explain.

The cold snap apparently whirled about Lauren and Josh’s home – that would be my daughter and son-in-law – and lingered around a few vulnerable pipes in a back bathroom. Need I say more?

When Lauren walked into the family room she heard a bit of static coming from a couple of speakers – never a good omen – then saw that a nearby hallway had become a watery canal. Yikes! Several inches of water covered all the nearby rooms, turning the newly installed carpeting – a little gift of welcome for Bailey in early October – into a soggy mess.

The static Lauren had heard was just a tiny taste of the pop and sizzle playing out as Mother Nature fried all the high-tech gizmos filling the house – computers, routers and lots of wiring connecting a state-of-the-art sound system, flat screen TVs, digital lighting and expansive security system.

That’s a long and windy way to say the gizmos and other stuff are mostly toast today. But, fortunately, there’s always tomorrow.

That’s where we’re all headed right now, neatly bundled up together in Pops and Bubbe’s home; warm and comfy and waiting for repairs. Okay, we’re a little pressed for space and there’s a little bumping into one another now and again.

But we’re all taking it a day at a time and, the good news, at least for me and the lovely Miss Wendy, we now have that opportunity to have a grand time with our new granddaughter in an up close and personal way.

No, we’re not building castles out of sheets or sharing warm cups of cocoa with Bailey – yet! We’re doing something better. It’s called life. It begins around 7 each morning when Bailey quietly announces that she’s up and ready to start the day.

She’s generally all scrunched up, her tiny legs flailing about as she searches for her thumb. If we’re lucky – and most mornings we are – she offers up a welcoming smile and a bit of baby gibberish that never fails to warm my heart.

The bulk of the day is a mixture of handling mundane needs – feeding, burping, and changing diapers – along with fun and games; lots of rocking and singing, tummy time and soothing walks around the neighborhood. Do this simple stuff just right and Bailey offers up a reward.

Often it’s just a contented sigh, her tiny hand resting lightly on my cheek or tugging at my finger; occasionally it’s the contentment I feel watching her eyelids grow oh-so heavy as I rock her in my arms and she falls ever so lightly into a gentle sleep.

Truth to tell, it’s a wondrous and symbiotic relationship.

Lauren, Josh, Bubbe and me – and let’s not forget Janice and Steve, our machatunim – are all working together to take care of Bailey’s needs. For her part, Bailey then satisfies our collective need that she be safe and happy.

So despite the watery mess that Mother Nature tossed our way, despite the close quarters and the little “gift” Maggie left on our hallway carpet – I did mention the two dogs, right – all is good.

At the moment the house is quiet. Lauren and Josh are resting in the guest room, Maggie at the foot of their bed; Bubbe is asleep and Ella is regally plopped next to her, comfy on my pillow; and in the room that was once my own little girl’s, my granddaughter is now safe and happy and floating in a dream.

In a couple of days or a couple of weeks the watery mess that is Bailey’s house will be fully repaired; warm and dry and home once again. And here’s the really good news. Years from now, I’m thinking, we’ll be talking and laughing about the “Arctic Vortex” of 2014 and the grand adventure that brought us all together in a very special way.

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