My new grandson smiles with his whole face. I discovered this in studying the latest images received from my daughter. His delight with life lights me up. I had expected to enjoy being a grandparent but, the actual felt sense is beyond anything I could have imagined. This beam of pure joy, traveling round trip from London to San Francisco, opens my heart.
While the distance between us is bridged by technology, there is awareness of the gap. And my minding it. I find myself pouring over each photo and video to learn more about him and his rapid changes. Skype softens the ache but, the longing for live contact runs parallel to the fullness of watching him in motion on the screen of my devices.
Little did I know how becoming a grandmother would shake up my world. I've joined the ranks of the obsessed. Previously, I smiled and inwardly rolled my eyes when shown grandchildren on smart phones by glazed-eyed grandmothers. Now I beg their forgiveness as I restrain myself from forcing his photos on literal strangers.
Last April 1, I fooled my friends and blogged of a 'younger man' I'd fallen for. In http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elyse-jacobs/older-but-still-an-april_b_6964292.html I wrote of my crossing the pond sight unseen to be with a man many years my junior that I'd met through the internet.
Joking aside, after spending three weeks together this summer, I am totally in love with my grandson. I think of leaving my well-crafted and familiar semi-retired life in San Francisco and starting anew in London. The thought invades my peaceful and orderly life. It enters my imagination whether bidden by his videos or unbidden in the midst of my busy day. Is this the call we listened for in younger days? A child of the sixties, adventure remains in my blood. At 70, this could be a grand adventure. It could also be another brilliant folly. I've experienced many of those.
In 1969, I remember leaving all I'd known in N.Y.C. and heading to California jammed inside a VW bus. With a new hubby, five cats and whatever else would fit, we arrived in San Francisco with little remaining of our wedding bonds, spiritual and financial. With just enough to sublet a little cottage, we pondered now what? We didn't have long to wait before a knock at our door opened onto a friend, the art director of what would become a cult classic. A job working on movie sets was offered and off we went with a colorful group of what locals in the small coastal towns of our filming referred to as hippies. Being from NY we didn't identify with the label but then neither did they see themselves as rednecks. As we moved from location to location, the most wondrous coincidences continued to happen for us.
My partnership with synchronicity, which began in San Francisco, stayed intact far longer than I did with that VW bus and its passengers.. The pregnant mother cat hastily exited in Topanga Canyon; the kittens met tragic endings; and the hubby departed with a sister from my woman's consciousness raising group. The bus itself caught fire at Altamont. Many dreams burned that day. Thankfully, a resistant hitchhiker trying to catch some zzz's in the back of our bus did not. We dragged him through the rear window and watched as the bus burned to the ground.
Through all the departures, synchronicity stayed. It accompanied me around the world these last 45 years, helping to form and enhance a creative life. Yet, I question if it will remain partnered with me should I move to London. Is synchronicity strongest in a city that loves you, where I developed my awareness inside a wide and deep connection to community? Or is it accessible anywhere you remain awake and recognize its arrival? Is it time for a new grand adventure equal to the one that began and turned out just fine 45 years ago? I feel the compelling invitation, deeply and often.
While exploring options, I shorten the time in-between and lengthen the time of my visits. I share each photo and video with my 90 year old dad. As I coo, he laughs appreciatively, commenting on what a grandmother I am.
Is it true, that this kvelling is relegated to the domain of women? Don't grandfathers also feel this ecstatic pleasure? Will you grandfathers out there weigh in and enlighten me, please. Meanwhile, I'll book my next flight to London.