Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Introducing Ryan

Let's face it: it was only a matter of time before I had to introduce this baby boy grandson of mine. His name is Ryan and he is the son of Jess and Mike. He is the reason they have not slept one night in the last two weeks and the reason jb and I have yet again fallen in love. I told Mike we would buy him a little pocketbook some day to keep his little crayons in. He corrected me by saying we would call it a little man-bag. Okay, Mike.

When I told Ryan's parents that jb and I would someday let him have ice cream for breakfast, they both gave me a very strong look of disapproval. So I explained that he had to have something besides m & m's that early in the morning.
I think these are the hands of a concert pianist or a painter. My son-in-law thinks they are the hands of a baseball shortstop or a football quarterback.

It is beyond my comprehension that active and busy adults would spend hours staring into this sleeping face. But love trumps comprehension. Watching this little doll of a boy is as good as meditation, and maybe as good as __________ (fill in your own blank).

Jess spent months planning Ryan's wardrobe. His closet is filled with clothes ranging in sizes from newborn through the first year. But all that went out the window when he was born: here you see the hospital's standard baby hat and a recycled blanket. Fashion will no doubt resurface, but really, who needs it?

Here we are: Ryan is less than a hour old and Jess looks like she just left the beauty parlor. There's not much to say about me at 2 am since I had the same clothes on for far too long. As if there were any doubt, I totally absolutely heartwarmingly LOVE this daughter of mine. She is unique in all the world. I would give her both my eyes, not just one. BTW: jb will not allow me to post her photo on this blog. But I can confirm that her joy at this event, after spending every night before bed reading about how to care for babies, because she was nervous about being a new grandmother, is boundless.

Oh boy......My mother is now Ryan's great grandmother. Her face says everything. I will want to remember this photo for all of my life.

This boy will be loved and cared for. I know that is not true of all children, and I pray that I will never pass up an opportunity to change that. I hope you won't either. It's not right that kids get stuck with the luck of the draw when parents are assigned. I wish every child had a second family to watch over him/her, as a safety net.

I can remember Jess' birth as if it were yesterday. I can tell you every detail about breastfeeding her, entering her room at midnight just to smell her and then stand there and cry, the moment in the back seat of the car when she said her first word ("light"), her little birthday parties, the baby food I made and froze myself, the time she got hit in the face with a soccer ball, the first time she brought a boy home for dinner,...

I could go on straight through age 29, which is today. I would end at today by saying that my daughter is now Ryan's mother, and every bone in her body is good and decent and caring and spunky and kind.

How did I get so lucky to be able to say that? All I did was love her, afterall. For her part, she forgave my mistakes, she kept me honest, she insisted I be present, and she loved me back.

That, Mr. Ryan, is what you can look forward to.


  1. ::sniff:: just beautiful

  2. New babies are magic, plain and simple.

  3. We girls get so mushy over babies...wiping my eyes...

  4. VERY sweet... what a lucky grandma (and mother) you are.

  5. oh, kj....

    i'm sorry it's been a while for me too, but WHAT a wonderful post to come back to!

    i totally agree, babies are incredibly peaceful, and the love that your family shares just radiates out from these photos...


  6. That photograph of Ryan with his parents - PRECIOUS. I love how his Dada is gazing into his face. You are blessed KJ! This is great.

    (I don't know why I can't log in)

  7. Waaa! You made me cry too!
    COME ON! Oh!
    OK...first of all it is one thing to make us all weepy about this little miracle who will obviously be LOVED to infinity and back but did you have to remind us about all of those other kids...
    What a thrill to see 4 generations swirling are a very lucky lady.
    Your karmic boomerang has returned all of those unselfish choices that you have made throughout your instead of taking.

    Enjoy every second of it.

  8. What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your memories with us, KJ. Those pics are so cute!

  9. gosh, I'm all teary. :**) I still sneak in to look at my girls before I go to bed. Charlotte flipped when she saw Ryan's photo because she had the same hospital hat. Thanks for sharing all of these -- they're beautiful photos and warm the heart.

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  14. I love the smell of newborn babies. It is heavenly.

    I don't know if anyone can ever explain the joy of being a mother or father especially when they see their baby's face for the first time and then hold them.

  15. Stop it! It's too ealry in the day to re-apply my mascara!

    Jess looks AMAZING and you look delisriously happy and Ryan is perefct and Mike -- well, what a man! :)

    Does jb have any biological children? She sounds like she'll be as awesome a Grandma as you.

    Go forth, happy family!

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  17. Wow this is such an awesome post. Welcome to the world, Ryan. You are definitely one lucky baby.

    Isn't new life just grand? Between you and Ces, i have thought about my daughters much today.
    Thank you!

  18. leo, you snuck in. nice to hear from you. i'm glad ces and i have given you a reason to think about your daughters. i'm sure you are all a very beautiful family.

  19. ziggi, you do alot with few words

    csl, so nice of you to visit. i'll be visiting you too.

    gautami, yes, mushy over babies of any kind: even puppies and eagles...

    liz, i'm glad i know how lucky i am

    bee, hello! so nice to hear from you.

    he, you are something else! you have enough mush inside you to qualify as one of the girls. ok, now that i said that you can return to your macho self. thanks, he.

    marie, nice to hear from you. i hope you are doing well.

    melissa, here's to mothers. why do i like it when i make you cry?

    ces, ah, the smell of new babies. i fill up on the spot at the very thought of that. and today, the birthday of your dear em, i applaud you for being a great mom.

    andrea, jb has jess. that's quite enough!

  20. OK, I managed not to cry until the photo of your mom and Ryan. Wow...what a lucky, lucky, lucky boy. And a blessed family to have him.

  21. There is true magical wonderment at the simplicity of life and its renewing cycles. Little Ryan is as awe inspiring as any of the wonders of the world... isn't it something that this little creature has such a vast universe of possibilities within him! You see a concert pianist, his father sees a baseball player, and who knows what he'll see for himself... Babies are little strangers we can never "own"... I remember the real thrill I had each day as I watched my son's personality emerge and develop, and today he's a man who completely belongs to himself, and I'm the mother forever connected to his beginnings. I find that such a simple and perfect manifestation of Nature. I know you and jb are going to enjoy this journey!

  22. Posts like these always bring a smile to my face. There is nothing quite like the experience of giving birth and holding (and smelling, and kissing) your baby.

    I still stare at my babies when they're sleeping. I just can't get over the fact that we were able to produce such miracles.

    Enjoy your grandson, kj! As I am sure he is going to enjoy you and JB a couple of years (or months!) from now.

  23. WOW! Another amazing post! Really heartwarming!!! Amazing because you realize how lucky you are and I can only feel total happiness for you all!

  24. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... such a heartwarming post. it made my day!

    ryan is blessed to have you as grandmommsie!


  25. well, i just have to say i am blessed with some of the NICEST bloggers in the blogger universe. i can't explain how much i appreciate all these comments. carla, kris, menchie, val, maria: thank you so much.

    i don't know much sometimes, but i know that giving and getting love is what matters more than anything else. families can be complicated. so i am glad that, today, mine is a straight shot toward just good old fashioned love.

  26. Welcome to the world little baby Ryan!! He is beautiful. And so is Jess. And you are too!! All those smiles and happiness...

    I'm sitting here smiling along with you like a big cheesy dork--and loving it! :)

    Congratulations to you and your family, kj. I am very VERY happy for you! :) :)

  27. You've made me cry.
    Thanks to you and Ces, I now have a box of tissues on my desk!

    *all I did was love her*
    What more can a child wish for?
    I wish that I could find the words to tell you just how very moved I am by this.
    Thank you for sharing.

  28. Cute little baby!
    I can easily understand your joy and happiness!

  29. jessie, that you are sometimes "a big cheesy dork", along with a compelling writer and talented artist--one who really gets what matters and what doesn't--is alot of why i like you so much!

    caroline, thank you for saying this post moved you. that is something that matters to me alot. i know you are a mother too and can understand how i feel. i also appreciate your kleenex box!

    sidney, welcome. i am very honored that you stopped by.

  30. A follow-up on what ces said about the smell of babies: their fuzzy little heads smell like cataloupes. I can't stop myself from beathing it in, it makes me dizzy. There was a Cosby episode once where Bill Cosby's character said to someone who was handing over their baby to his wife, "Don't let her smell that baby's head!" I knew exactly what he meant - it always makes me want another.

  31. Babies are magic - but grandchildren - well, they're just even magical-er!

  32. Well Ryan has a whole lot to look forward to then, doesn't he?

    Geez, the poor lil guy's barely a few weeks old and he's been splashed all over the World Wide Web twice now.

    I hope, for Jess and Mike's sake, he's doing a lot of sleeping, feeding and, let's face it, pooping.

    In the pic of you and Jess and Ryan, I can see Jess as being you 29 years ago (happy birthday Jess!)

    What a lovely collection of individuals you have amongst you, KJ, by their pix, your loving descriptions of them, the whole ball of wax.

    Ryan will be a very loved little guy indeed.

  33. csl, i will now forever think of cantalopes when i smell ryan's head. i owe you one for that uniquely lovely thought!

    ww, we love our families, don't we?
    and now we're old enough and free enough to have our own brand of fun as well. it's all good!

    chief, thanks as always.

  34. Hello from Texas's hill country. where it is bright and sunny. Only for you,I will blog away from home.

  35. Touching post of love KJ! He's beautimus ;)

  36. ces! hello! hope your weekend is going great!

    tammy: good word, i like it.

  37. Unconditionally, a beautiful love story....