Making the Leap: Gramma as "Unexciting Object"

For Jonah, my grandson

Warner Springs Ranch, California -January 30th 2009

So I've spiraled out of wherever I've been - for better not for worse - moving beyond the life I had, the house I lived in, the cat I outlived, the patients I cared for, the friends I cherish, the professional community which offered me an embarrassment of riches.
Some people cried.
Some got angry at me.
Most didn't "understand"...

Why are you doing this?
Why did you say you were doing this?

The why wasn't predictable.
Not in any charts
I've ever had done for me
or cards read
or therapy explained.
More like following an open-ended labyrinth which I didn't know I was ever in.

Major changes were occurring - both external and internal.
family money gone
housing market dying
my guy is too much work
and perhaps,
in some unconscious way,
this chapter was simply over for me though I loved my life.


Denver is easily explained because my youngest of three and the one I am closest with is there with her husband and two little ones.
West?? - I'm an East Coast girl for heavens sake, first generation child of refugee European parents.
Then again...........
THEY went west I guess. Never thought of that before!

Perhaps it's all explained by a title I've given to a book I haven't written.
It's called:
"Lessons from Jonah"
Jonah is my 8 year old grandson.
He has been with me every Wednesday from the time he was three months old.
It's from Jonah that I really learned about being in my grandchild's life from nearby - from down the road - from "over there" - a direction you could point to.
It's from Jonah that I learned about regularity and being the unexciting Gramma.
Unexciting not because of no shared adventures - unexciting as in Ronald Fairbairn's "exciting object" - the one who comes and goes. Every Wednesday is unexciting.

But it has felt to me like becoming a different kind of drumbeat, a thicker longer thread in the weaving of his life.
So I thought
and thought
and went "inside" over and over again......and decided to catch the dream of Maya, 4 and Sophia, 18 months and weave ourselves together in whatever unpredictable ways were available to us.

I spiraled out of my very good life to join them in theirs and, lovingly, hopefully begin the journey designing a new labyrinth with whatever I bring to the here and

Being here at this Ranch this weekend, while Maya and Sophia are with their parents and friends in Steamboat Springs - is helping me find and define my path.

One step at a time.
One thread at a time.