Whoops. I’m late in writing this… V turned a year old almost five weeks ago.
The older she gets, the less time I have. She is crawling up a storm, and is beginning to walk. And when I say ‘walk’ I mean she lurches around like a little drunk. At her 12-month checkup, she was slightly behind for walking, but I suggested to the doctor that it’s because she’s so big. He agreed that might be the case.
A few quick stats:
Height: 32″ / 81.2 cm – 100th percentile. Most people now assume she’s over 2.
Weight: 26 lb / 11.8 kg – 97th percentile)
Hair: still red, but it has darkened to a vibrant copper
Eyes: bright blue
Says: Mama, Dada, neh-neh (breastfeeding), woof, cat, apple, cup, up, hot, that, not that, trash, fridge, sock, toast, uh-oh, cheers
Yep, young V is quite the little chatterbox! And as I watch this sweet and mellow, but curious and independent, little girl growing up in front of my eyes, I think about how different it could have been.
← As it says in my sidebar, I am a mom thanks to many people. One of them is my grandfather. With the exception of hearing his voice in my ear say It’s a boy, I’ve never written about him before. Now seems appropriate.
The last time I saw my grandfather, it was late April 2001, I was 22 and I wanted him to meet my boyfriend. My granddad was dying of cancer, and several times my grandmother cancelled our plans at the last minute. One late afternoon, DH and I visited him. I don’t remember much of our visit itself – just that my granddad’s teeth had turned a dark yellow and he was hobbling around in pain. It was a short visit, at the end of which he pressed a cheque into my hand so DH and I could have dinner somewhere. When he died a few weeks later, I was filled with gratitude that he’d met the man I knew would one day become my husband.
My granddad and I had more of a formal relationship. He wasn’t the type to crawl around after you on the floor, but I have sweet memories of the proud and loving look on his face as we danced or when he listened to me play the piano. We shared a love of music – my leather-bound copy of Chopin Nocturnes with his father’s initials embossed in gold is something I will pass on to V.
One evening in 2013, just as DH and I were getting stuck in with infertility and all that it would entail, I dozed on the sofa while he listened to classical music on Pandora. I woke up with Una Furtiva Lagrima in my head – a piece of music my grandfather loved – but it wasn’t playing on the radio. I hummed it to myself, trying to remind myself of the composer. The music on the radio ended and, to my astonishment, the song that I woke up humming was the next song broadcast! I think that’s the moment I started describing myself as a spiritual atheist. Right then I had the feeling that everything was going to be okay. I might not travel the path I thought I would, but it was still a good path to be on.
A few weeks ago I had a dream in which I was reunited with my granddad. I told him how I had kissed his wife, my grandmother’s, coffin at her funeral a couple of years ago. I had just been told I needed to do IVF (the egg donation information wouldn’t be discovered for another couple of weeks) and learned that, magically and mysteriously, I suddenly had the funds to pay for it. In my dream I told him how grateful I was for my daughter. I showed off my flabbier postpartum body, laughing as I twirled, and told him, There’s this amazing little person I want you to see…
Fourteen years later, I’m all the more grateful to have introduced my grandfather to my husband. It was my grandfather who left me the money that paid for our DEIVF. I can never thank him for the gift that grew into V, but knowing he met DH feels like the closest thing I have to thanks.