We drove the two hours to my daughter’s house and upon reaching the deck of her home, I immediately saw my great-granddaughter playing with her father at the picnic table. She was, at first glance, even more beautiful than the pictures I’d been collecting of her from her birth. She also was smiling and clearly a very happy child.
I did not immediately approach her, assuming that babies can be a little apprehensive around new faces. I indeed was a new face as those gathered had all had met her. Her other set of great-grandparents visit her often since they live nearby and they sat close to her.
I made the rounds of hugging my kids for the first time in more than a year and took a seat at the opposite end of the table from Ophelia.
She peeked (I think) at me but it could have been her just looking around at the table full of relatives.
So there I sat, talking to my middle daughter for a bit, occasionally peeking over at Ophelia, anticipating holding her soon.
Eventually, my first daughter, the grandmother (I still haven’t fully accepted that my daughter is a grandmother) carried Ophelia toward me. She approached slowly. Carefully. And tenderly put Ophelia in my arms for the very first time. She took one look at me, scrunched up her mouth in what i thought was going to be her first smile at me. And…she wailed like a dangerous psycho was holding her!
I bounced her in my arms, I rubbed her belly as if she was a genie's bottle and she magically would stop crying. She didn’t. The experience lasted about two minutes before my daughter took control back. Ophelia calmed down.
We all chuckled.
Disappointing, yes, but understandable because, well, I was a new face.
The party went on and eventually my daughter again approached me softly, quietly with Ophelia in her arms. Ophelia looked at me as if she was acknowledging I was no longer a threat. She was placed gingerly in my arms and…she wailed even louder than the first time.
This time, I quickly handed her back to my daughter rather than have the child get even more upset.
My wife took a nice picture of me with Ophelia in my arms for the first time, crying her eyes out. I posted it on Facebook, because that’s what we do these days, right? It has so far gathered 217 likes. I don’t know what the normal total of “likes” average people get is, but for me, that was a record.
Why expose the lovely Ophelia now to the addition of a blog post about her? I mean do the literally tens of people who follow this blog need to know this?
Well, she’s just that cute…and she can’t read yet so I think we’re safe from the wailing.