I was going to write about having a cheering committee today, well ages ago actually but life got in the way. Anyhow, that post has been shelved for next time due to an amazingly HUGE very longed for happening...
Today (a few days ago now but the message is the same) my wonderful daughter said to the Greek In Laws who guard the baby better than the most expensive security firm ever could, 'my mother is taking the baby for a few hours today'. Silence. Shock. Horror.. After four torturous days of having a five minute hold before Greek Grandma (Yia Yia for future reference) Grandfather (Papu) Husband, Nephew or tourists have whisked him away to be coo'd over, fawned over, idolised, declared a mini god, fed everytime he blinks, bleats or hiccups and generally paraded round the little fishing village, beach, tavernas like a glittering prize to be adored and more than admired. They are all very proud I understand that, I am trying so terribly hard to not feel distressed. And although I write this somewhat tongue in cheek - it is very difficult and pretty hellish for my lovely daughter who is trying so hard to put her boundaries as a new mum in place, do her waitressing job at the family restaurant, keep her errant husband happy, clean the house, look after baby and get up twice a night....and they wont let her have a break from the baby unless they are in sole charge of the gorgeous little mite. She is doing a fantastic job. It's so hard. God knows how this little darling is feeling....stifled and overwhelmed and most definitely out of sorts for sure!
Life here changes on a minute to minute basis. - One minute she's working at 12 - no coming in at 4 - yes you can take the baby this morning, no the husband is having him, yes this afternoon, no yia yia wants to see him, Fed him now - no in an hour...its no wonder my daughter is having a hard time trying to set up some kind of routine. They won't let her set up a structure, work to an adaptable plan. It's their way or no way. No you can't give him Gripe Water, put the microwave on to distract him from his frequent gripes. Rock him to sleep. Don't let him suck his thumb. Wrap him him up for Artic weather. Germs....on and on it goes. It's driving me to distraction as I sit patiently watching, observing saying bugger all because it will be only bad news for her if I do...mind you my buttons can only be pressed hard for so long....
It's very evident that despite the apparent laid back tomorrow tomorrow attitude (which actually is a load of crap and totally untrue - might have been once in Greece but not anymore) everything is lived out of drama and fear - don't, no, be careful, can't, should, mustn't and a host of other unhelpful comments which leave no space to grow, dream, enjoy and just be. It's more fearful glances, dark mutterings, old ladies spitting on my cherubic grandson's little face to oust the devil, whiskery mutterings of a bygone draconian time when goblins, spirits, devils and other malevolent creatures roamed the earth spiriting away beautiful babies....So there we have it and as I write this post I am four restaurants up the road from my grandsons family restaurant, sitting on my balcony overlooking a magnificent blue sea and listening to my little grandson gurgle happily at the shadows that are dancing through the light blanket that is covering his pram. I spy a messenger trotting down the road to scout for baby's screaming and a reason to remove him from my care. I reassure the perplexed scout that all is well and I haven't chopped off his toes for my dinner. I carry on writing and making my art for a lovely couple who are getting married on the beach on Monday.
I of course, am just as concerned about this divine gift from god, as he Greek Grandma is. I keep checking him, listening to his breathing, hug him, kiss him and love him with a passion I didn't know possible. I just do it without the drama. I give him space to breathe, take off the layers of clothes that prevent his fat chubby little legs from having a good kick....leave him without his nappy - oh the shame of it! I leave him to lie happily in his pram having had a good feed, a lovely burp and just let him look round, sit with his little soul, get used to the sounds, smells and sights of this amazing new world, and he's very happy to do so. I want him to feel the soft breeze on his skin, smell the salt of the nearby ocean, hear the loud incessant shouting of the kefalonia taverna owner up the road, listen to the waves making their gentle lapping lullaby song, gurgle with the birds busy chattering in the trees and experience the delight of his brand new life, without fear, fright or constant drama. As well as learning he can do anything he sets his mind to, be anyone he dreams of being I want him to take pride in his dual heritage, his Greek roots, his Irish Great Grandparents, his English Grandma and Grandpa. I want him to know where he comes from, where he was made, a child of nature of sand, sea, blue sky and green green mountains. I wish for him confidence to go anywhere, enjoy everything and have quiet self belief in whatever he chooses to do.
Above all I want him to be his own person, who makes his own decisions - and not be ruled by the debilitating emotions of shame, fear or not feeling he is enough just as he is. I hope he'll chart his own waters, unfold his own maps and not be kept down or belittled by anyone. I have a quick peek and am rewarded by a beautiful gummy smile and a face of pure innocence unblemished by life's hardships. He coo's and gurgles and I appreciate just how hard it is to leave him be and let him have his own little quiet time. The temptation to pick him up is enormous - but resist I do!
I am grateful for these few hours - and hope I get more of them during the next six weeks. I resolve to try anew every day to remain non threatening to the Greek family and hope they will be gracious enough to let me spend a little time with him each day while I am here. I don't hold out much hope but we will see. I must accept what is - it's different here. I hope I can be of some help to my lovely daughter and prays that she will get the time she needs to enjoy her little son and is able to build her own strength back up. She knows I am right here for her. As much as I am I also know this is her life and the one she has chosen to live, with it's highs and lows and I must respect that. But I will make a quick call to darling hubby to bring out some baby rice, bonjela, and farleys rusk just in case she might need them! Oops time to dash I hear the Yia Yia calling for her boy to come back to her...must get inside and hide!
Beautiful Sadie and the most gorgeous baby Peo