Grand boy is glue that sticks family together

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There’s something to be said for restraint. Which is not what you are getting today.

Since the birth of grand boy Malcolm more than 15 months ago, I’ve reserved most of my Grammie exclamation marks for my blog posts, where I can go on and on about this magnificent thing called “grandchildren.”

You all promised it would be lovely, the best thing ever. You were so right.

That said, I do realize Macalicious is still in warm and fuzzy mode, charming at any given moment and under my roof only a few days at a time. But I’m fresh from spending a week with my boy and about as high as one can legally be.

The Mac Family came to town for graduation hoopla. They are on their way back to Portland after living a year in Seattle and discovering they’re Oregonians to the core. That and not having family around to take a turn now and then was enough to convince MacDaddy and MacMama to return home.

The trio had a little time to kill between packing up and the moving truck’s arrival, plus we had Martha Stewart Jr. to graduate, so our calendars lined up perfectly.

And that meant a huge helping of Macarooni. It meant baby chatter from dawn to 7 p.m. or so. It meant hearing Malcolm call out to our dogs, “Kee cat! Kee cat!” Cap’n Jack and Daphne obliged him, perfectly willing to be kitties while hunkering down under the high chair, waiting for manna from above.

The living room became the play room as toys and colorful kitchen utensils floated atop the carpet like islands to explore. We pulled the Fisher-Price goodies out of storage and reintroduced ourselves to cylindrical people and neon-bright cars. Not to mention the Chatter Phone, which we decided would be an old-fashioned novelty to Mac, what with its rotary dial and all. I tried not to feel old.

And me, queen of organization? Stepped over baby paraphernalia without a backward glance. I felt no need to do anything with used sippy cups other than wash them as an act of love for my daughter. Food on the kitchen floor caused no pain — “Oh, the dogs will be happy,” I thought.

Clearly, a shot of Mac temporarily cures my obsession with cleaning.

As intoxicated as I am, however, I’m no match for Camo Man. From sneaking the just-stirring baby away from his parents with the rising of the sun to endless hoists high above the shoulders, my husband was besotted with this little blond guy.

Grampa looked for him the minute he came in the door from work and sadly bid him good night at the end of Malcolm’s day. He discussed future hunting, fishing and camping in baby talk, leading me to think we’ll soon have a Camo Mac among us on such trips. As soon as his parents give us the green light.

As Camo Man offered walking assistance to his tiny charge, MacMama and I looked at each other with proud smiles. “I don’t get it,” she whispered. “Doesn’t he have like 1,000 grandchildren by now? You’d think this would be no big deal.”

My husband did arrive in our marriage with a dowry of seven grand babies, it’s true, but he does not appear to be wearying of his role. A stranger coming into our living room with Grampa doing the “How big is Malcolm?” trick would never guess Camo Man hasn’t been in place since the beginning of MacMama time.

And that brings me to another thing that happened this week. For the first time since last June, MacMama and Artist Girl (my 24 year-old who also lives in the Seattle area and loves it to pieces) were on their home turf and immersed in this family Camo Man and I have been sewing together. Never mind that some of the stitches come undone here and there, it’s looking to be a sturdy quilt.

My daughters seemed to think so, too. Both were visibly more comfortable with this man who occupies the same square footage as their departed father did. On more than one occasion, I heard the “D” word slip from their lips, telling a younger sibling to take something to Dad. To ask Dad about this or that.

I credit Macadoodle with that shift in wording. At 15 months, he’s a baby-sized blob of family glue, attaching together everyone who comes within his force field. As he passed from one set of arms to another this past week, we became a clan cherishing and protecting its youngest member.

It doesn’t get much more Macalicious than that.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at 509-526-8322 or sheilahagar@wwub.com.

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