Dear Baby ‘Bee (Grampies are the best)

Dear Baby ‘Bee,

This week you are 9 weeks old.  I can’t believe how fast the time has flown!  You have finally met everyone in the family, and you are in high demand around here.  Every time I talk to your Grampie on the phone, he asks me “What is Charlotte doing?”  and says that he goes through “Charlabee withdrawal” if he doesn’t see you for a few days.

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Me with my Nana and Grampie when I was about the age you are now…two months old! November 1981.

Your Grampie just decided to change his name from E.G. to Grampie after seeing some pictures of me with my Grampie.  When I was a kid, we used to have so much fun with Grampie.  He had the funniest jokes, and was always laughing.  He told us probably 100 times “I was on my way to fight in the war…and when they heard I was coming they got scared and cancelled the whole thing!”

My Grampie died when I was in 6th grade.  But I remember so clearly what his voice and his laugh sounded like.  I remember doing fun things like floating in his pool, making gingerbread houses at Christmas time, playing basketball in the driveway, and recording home movies with his giant cam-corder.  The things that we did weren’t always big grand special events.  But because they were with my Grampie, they were so special to me.  I am really excited that you get to have my Dad as your Grampie.  Grampies are the best–there is just something special about their giant, warm, strong hands and the funny jokes that they tell with a deadpan face.  You never know if they are serious.  But really, that’s half the fun!

A few years ago, your Dad and I had to decide whether we were going to live in Boston, teach abroad, or return home and live in Portland.  Although you were just a thought back then, we chose Portland and moved ourselves home all because of you; we wanted you to grow up with grandparents close by, just as we both did.

You are lucky to have all four grandparents just across the bridge in South Portland, and they already have big plans for making special memories with you!  Memere and Papa sign hello to you each time they see you, and tell you they love you when we drive away.  I’ve started to learn how to joke with Papa in sign language, and I’m sure he’ll be excited to teach you that too.  They’ll be taking care of you when I go back to school, and I have a feeling you’ll be signing before you can talk!

hanging out with Papa

Nanny and Grampie just moved to their new house, and it has wooded trails out back and a frog pond!  They keep talking about catching frogs, tromping around in your first pair of Wellies, and riding bikes on their dead end.  Right now though, one of your favorite things to do is rock with Grampie.  You nestle right in and fall instantly asleep.  Maybe someday the three of us will travel the world and teach in some far off place.  But for now, you can see your grandparents anytime you want.

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Reading with Grampie in his giant rocking chair. I swear he bought this chair just for you!

You are SO lucky, Baby ‘Bee.  Even the most simple thing like eating breakfast will be fun with your Grampie.  He’s really good at making pancakes in the letters of your name, and he’ll challenge you to eat as many letters of Charlotte as you can!  (When I was a kid, I never made it past B-E-T for Betsy).  Just remember, if you are ever wondering whether Grampie is kidding or serious, the answer will always be kidding!

Love,

Mom

This is Grampie dancing with Nanny at our wedding...do you see now how you can never take him seriously?!

This is Grampie dancing with Nanny at our wedding…do you see now how you can never take him seriously?!

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