I’ve written posts in the past about the fact that I live in an intergenerational living situation (see “An Experiment in Intergenerational Living,” and “Intergenerational Living: The Experiment Continues”). My husband and I sold our house last June and our daughter and her husband sold their house in July. We bought a house together in a new community. With Kerry and Mike came our granddaughter Lilah, 4, and two geriatric Japanese chins. (Chins are small, fluffy dogs with bulging eyes, squashed-in noses and a gremlin-like ability to find trouble anywhere, anytime.) Tom and I brought with us a third geriatric dog (large mutt) and a small black cat.
Now we have a new addition to the family: Jessamyn, one week old today. Jessamyn arrived a couple of weeks early because Kerry developed pre-eclampsia and what with one thing and another, had a caesarian delivery. (Getting the baby out is the only treatment for pre-eclampsia, which is the beginning of kidney failure and results in death if untreated.) So we were all a bit surprised by Jessamyn’s early debut, including Jessamyn.
All newborns are unbelievably tiny and fragile-looking, and Jessamyn is no exception. So far, she has been fairly easy. She sleeps, eats and poops. The only time I’ve heard her cry is when her diaper is changed or when she’s hungry. Lilah is delighted with her and tries hard to be helpful by fetching things for her mother. She is fascinated by Jessamyn’s tiny nose, which she touches very gently. Marley (#1 geriatric chin) wants to cuddle. The other animals have noted Jessamyn’s presence, but are keeping their distance.
Tom loves to hold the baby. He will hold her literally for hours. The photo above isn’t really fair—but I couldn’t resist, given the expression I caught on his face.
So another life has joined the family, and I wonder what she will be like. Will she dance through the house singing off-key, like her big sister? Will she like to draw? Will she love words? Will she want to be a poet, or an engineer? Jessamyn is physically here, but I don’t know who she is yet. It’s odd, feeling all this love for someone I don’t even know. I look at her little face, and she owns me, just like her big sister Lilah owns me. I am theirs for as long as I’m alive.