Ever since we knew we would be grandparents, our friends asked us what our grandparent name would be. That’s something I never really contemplated for myself. If I were to be lucky enough to be a grandma, that name would be the best possible name my grandchild could call me. Nonetheless, we played with names. Names like Grand-Dan and Grand-Nan felt playful, and in the end, we mostly referred to ourselves as Grandma and Grandpa when we were with her.
Until she named us Baba, both of us are Baba.
We always know which one of us she was speaking to. If only one of us is there, she would ask, “Baba?” And we all knew she wanted to know where abouts of her other Baba. Eventually she began calling us Baba-Na and Baba-Da, and our hearts swelled even more, if that was possible.
Being with Arya is not something I can easily describe. I now know why my grandparent friends used to tell me that I’d never fully understand what being a grandparent really meant until I experienced it for myself. To say I’m enthralled might be heading in the right direction. I have the luxury of time to contemplate her hair, her hands, her feet, and marvel at their wonder.
Sitting on the floor with her looking at her books, and her listening to her A Bs and watching her grasp new concepts is an extravagance that feeds my soul.
Opening the door and being greeted by her huge smile, and a “Hi Baba!” and not moving until I pick her up almost brings me to tears every time. Yes, I love my role in her life and in Peter and his family’s life.
I know that I was enthralled with my own children too, yet not having the same kind of responsibilities of life makes being a Baba feel indulgent. The time I have to contemplate her being brings me pure joy.
Take her hair for example, I’ve spent what seems like hours meditating on her hair.
Its color, its texture, the curls, and the way it grows out of her head. The way new layers start growing under the top layers.
When I gaze upon her hair, I see colors I never knew existed. If someone were to describe her hair color to me, they may say it is blondish. Yet blond doesn’t come close to the colors I see the dancing with each other to create colors not yet named. Colors light and dark, and in-between, gossamer colors that use light as their expression.
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