Saturday, June 28, 2014


Egypt 2009

Sleeping late is underrated. 

In developing countries, responsible people see this as a habit of those who are given to drunkenness and laziness.  In the first world, sleeping late has been seen as a habit of highly ineffective people.  The American Medical Association says that “among sleepers”  (a group of people who agreed to have their sleep and waking activity measured by a wrist sensor during a study), “normal sleepers” lived fitter, more productive lives.

I love sleeping late.

There, I said it.

Now I will also admit to being less industrious than many of my friends; the young mothers I marvel at, hardly believing that I was once so sleep deprived. The one driven by career or schedules that dominate their time, waking or sleeping.  Most of my friends know that, despite my morning slothfulness, I am a contributing member of society.

With all of this said, I must tell you that I have lived a life of a “normal sleeper” for the last month.  Why?  Because I was forced to because of a month-long of visiting and family activity.

Mid- May I went with Mario and my parents (Jack and Jennie) to Boston.  There we celebrated Dad’s 80th birthday in true-Bostonian style, making day trips on the Freedom trail, local restaurants and museums, and plenty of public transport (Dad and Mario had three baseball games at Fenway Park).  We returned to Sacramento, where I did my laundry and then packed up again to visit New Mexico, where Rikki and Vince were, expecting their first baby.  On Friday, May 30, Scarlett Star was born.  She was such a delight that none of minded being awake for the forty-plus hours we vigilantly awaited her.

I stayed to “help” Vince and Rikki – but Vince cooks and Rikki cleans, so I don’t know how much help I was.  Mainly, I was there with the family, admiring the baby.  Scarlett was so good and content; I didn’t have much opportunity to dispense motherly advice.

I came home on June 11th, where I saw Mario for the first time in fifteen days.  We embraced, did laundry and left the following day for Chico to see Alicia and Brian – Harmony and Alannah.  I hadn’t seen them in a month and lapped up the visit. 

I came home again, only to vacuum and get the house ready for a visit from David and Lennae and their three girls.  They stayed with us for a bit over a week .  It was a treat to see them all again, since they live in Kansas City we don’t see each other as often as we’d like.  The girls longed for a pool in the Sacramento record heat , but we were satisfied with day trips to parks and shopping centers.  We took family pictures on the day Mario turned 60;  Alicia and Brian brought the girls and we did a partial family shot.  The grandchildren that were there lapped up the visit and we all were delighted to be together; even with our strong personalities…we all were delighted. 

The Rodriguez family left us three days ago and I wept a bit before driving up to Chico to see Harmony and Alannah again. 

This morning I slept late. 

It occurred to me that I was exhausted.  I was poured out, but so thankful for all of the time we had together as a family.  It was a wonderful time together, but I’m ready to be home. 

I wanted to create a special momentum of the past month.  I’ve tried, but there may be a little bit lost in translation.  It’s one thing to say the family time was rich; it’s quite another to be a grandmother and see the face of your grandchild looking back at you.  At these moments, my heart swells and I smile back, wondering if there could ever be words large enough to capture the moment.  The moment of sweltering and undeserved honor floods my heart and I see the eyes of promise, of new life and hopes and dreams.  The honor of love that comes naturally from a grandchild to a grandmother; it can’t be contained in my heart.  It can’t possibly be put into words.  

Maybe the pictures will do what I hope they are supposed to do: say a thousand words.

I am, among women, most richly blessed.  I deserve a sleeping in day, don’t I?

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