Until February, our three sons, ages 31, 28 and 22, had blessed us with two…granddogs: Daisy, a sweet-natured, affectionate, red-nosed pit bull, and Sweet Pea, a somewhat aloof, reluctantly affectionate, but otherwise lovable beagle. Of course we dreamed of being real grandparents, like so many of our boomer friends. You can imagine our joy when our oldest son, Devin, and his wife, Sarah, announced last summer that they were expecting.
Never mind that they lived in Boston, about as far away from our California home as possible without leaving the country. Digital photos and Skype would keep us close until we could visit. In September we signed up for a May trip to New York with friends and added on an extra five days in Boston to personally meet who would by then be our three-month-old granddaughter.
Saskia Fredricksen Jones was born on February 13th, 2012, a healthy, serene, placid baby girl. My son created a Picasa album almost immediately, and we Skyped twice in the first couple of months. But nothing, other than the birth of our own children, prepared us for the outpouring of love we would experience when we arrived in Boston on May 14th.
For five full days we were with Saskia every moment except when we returned to our B & B to sleep. Everywhere we went we rode on either side of her in the back seat so we could gaze into her expressive blue eyes, laugh when she flashed a sudden smile, talk to her in response to her wordless chatter, feel the pressure of her tiny hands wrapped around our fingers, wonder at her calm beauty when she slowly fell asleep, her dark lashes resting on her rosy cheeks.We took her to her first Red Sox game at Fenway Park; we visited Lexington and Concord, her first history lesson, and the Jack Kerouac Memorial in Lowell, her first American Literature lesson; we strolled through scenic parks on perfect spring days under new green foliage and among vibrant wildflowers. We fell gloriously, deeply in love. Leaving was difficult, but we’ve circled the calendar…Saskia will be here on July 7th! In the meantime, wonderful photos and great memories will nourish us. Grandchildren…everything we heard it would be…and more.