The flames that flicker in the wood stove in the living room of our son’s home warm the entire space. Outside, oblique lines of snow coat everything they touch with the inevitability and intensity of a glaze raining on the raised doughnuts at Tim Hortons. Vehicles, patio tables, porch rails, and sidewalks all show off several inches of white padding as delicate and firm as the tulle on the skirt of a bride’s dress. Cocooned inside, I sink back into the couch cushions and bask in the tranquility of the moment.
The house is silent. My husband snoozes curled up beside me. Our son is at work, and his wife catches up on some sleep. Their ten-week-old son has fallen asleep in my arms, his fingers curled around my pinkie, his long body stretched out on my lap. I allow myself to caress the soft round of his cheek, and memorize the details of his face—the dimpled mouth, the long eyelashes, the perfect nose and small, flat ears. I want his mother to be able to rest as long as possible, so I place him in his swing chair, and cover him with a blanket. He has surrendered to sleep. His breathing deepens, a soft but noticeable baby snore that even piques the dog’s curiosity. Always on guard for the family, Sammie must investigate. He jumps down from his cushion in front of the window, and sniffs at the baby’s feet to make sure he’s okay. Worried lest the baby awaken, I whisper Sammie’s name, and he resumes his watch. This moment is my window into Paradise.
I use the quiet time to relive the joys of the past few days with our son and his family. I feel the baby’s weight in my arms, hear the coos and squeals of his conversation, the play during the diaper changes, and the comfort of feeding time. Overwhelmed with gratitude to them for responding to my grandmother’s need for time with the baby, I savour the calm and peace that penetrate every cell of my being.
I don’t know how many more moments like this I may have. That is one of the realities of aging. I do have this one, though, and for that, I am blessed and thankful.