You can now find me writing here...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Milestone Moments

There are moments in my life that stick in my head so fresh I can't help but recall them like they happened yesterday... like walking into my friend Melissa's house 20 years ago and marveling over her baby, Kaisha, and thinking how minuscule my adult-like endeavors seemed next to this enormous experience of having a child.

Melissa and I met when we were seven, in the second grade. Her folks moved into house a mile north of ours. We sometimes met in the middle of the field between our two houses, always careful to avoid the pasture that had the bull. More memorable was when we were both old enough to drive, which happens for country kids a bit earlier than kids who live in town. Stick to the dirt roads and you could usually convince the parents to let you visit a neighbor.

Melissa and I suffered long hours together on the yellow school bus. I watched out my window in the early morning hours for the bus to turn at her corner. That's how I kept the time I spent waiting at the end of the drive in the dark at a minimum.

We grew up side by side, like sisters, only we didn't actually live together, and we probably didn't take the time, often enough, to appreciate the gift of friendship we gave to one another. We made our way, sometimes independently, but often together, through junior high and high school. Then I moved away and Melissa got married and baby Kaisha came along. I stopped in every holiday or visit home to take a peek, to marvel at her beauty and how much she had grown.

Last weekend, I held Kaisha's baby in my arms. My friend Melissa is a grandma now, which means somehow, in this mysterious passing of time and age, I am entering yet another stage of adulthood. Kaisha is the first baby I held in my arms--from the perspective of something more than a child myself--that now has a baby of her own.

I have younger cousins whom I remember as babies who now have children, but they are really just slightly younger people from my generation. I was just an awkward babysitter when they were little, but when I met Kaisha I was really began to understand that I had a place in this world outside of childhood. She was a possibility made real.

Now that baby has grown up and is a momma, too, and I am an honorary aunt to the second degree. Meeting baby Roo (her nickname from Grandma Melissa) is another one of those sticking moments. Something I know I will recall and dwell on for years to come.

Kaisha and Roo.

Tracy and Melissa ~ Granny types?

Melissa, Tracy and Carol (Melissa's Mom)  in 1978


DuckieMom said...

You've hopefully got a few years before you slide into that "grandma" role. It is an amazing one. I highly recommend it. AARP had a quiz to help determine where you should live in your retirement, and, in my estimation, they totally missed the boat because they failed to ask "where do your grandchildren live?" in the list of questions. I'm willing to stick it out in old Topeka as long as I can still go see a cute-pie who calls me Me-ma whenever I can!

LoryKC said...

Congrats on being an honorary aunt, again!
Life does move quickly sometimes, but you manage to capture it so beautifully, here!