My son was born in mid-October, which is a wonderful time to have a baby because you are about to hunker down into winter, keeping your babe warm and safe. But babies born in spring – as was my daughter, as was her son – come into the world just as the world itself is producing new life. Every day, I marvel at the growth in my garden – the roses, yes, glorious, but also the growing vegetables, the bellflowers, columbine, lavender, the thyme bushing out, the brave indestructible hostas, the first crop of rhubarb, stewed with sugar and orange peel and eaten for breakfast – today, a first flower on the jasmine, so sweet. Never did I think I’d be a gardener. And here I am, a garden slave, enraptured.
And then I went across town to visit the new family. Fury on the way, the Queen streetcar designed to drive those who need to go further than Bathurst Street mad – four short turn cars went by before I finally got on one that’d at least get me partway there, and got a cab the rest of the way. Talked to the driver about our appallingly disorganized and badly run transit, thinking of New York, London, Paris – the efficiency, cleanliness and speed. However. I got where I wanted to go.
And there – well, others have been visiting, others not as emotionally or genetically connected as I, and all have been saying – this is one amazing baby. At ten days, he is a sturdy ten pounds and gaining, his neck and body are strong, and when he’s not eating, sleeping and pooing, he’s curious about his new world. A most relaxed baby, because he has a most relaxed mother, who’s on top of her job and organized – the tidy tray of diaper stuff she keeps in the living room, so she doesn’t have to get up, sometimes, to go to the change table – and blissful.
I got to feed him a bottle of expressed breast milk. Oh the animal feelings, once more – the tiny snuffling creature in my arms, sucking, waving his arms about – my own breasts started to ache, with a vague memory of those days in my own life, those long days and nights nurturing a newborn. Meanwhile, her arms freed for a few minutes, my daughter was getting lunch ready for us, texting her myriad friends, writing thank you cards.
While I was feeding him, there came several explosive noises from his other end, so when he’d finished the bottle, I handed him over and his mother changed him, then showed me her high tech secret – a warm hair dryer to the bum, and the boy is clean and dry.
Finally, I had to give him back and get on the extremely crowded rush hour streetcar home, to sit in my garden with a glass of wine, gaze lovingly at my roses, and toast my grandson and his amazing mother. My daughter should run the TTC. The streetcars, guaranteed, would run on time.