My very thoughtful sister drove me to Howell this afternoon for one last visit with my son Derek, daughter-in-law Renee, and month-old (today!) grandson, Tyler. I fly back to Mississippi this Saturday and there just wasn't enough leeway in Derek's work schedule to permit a visit up here to Mt. Pleasant from their place. So Shelley offered to drive me back there again (a four-hour round trip) so we could visit again (and take pictures).
It was a wonderful day for driving. The sun peeked out from behind low-hanging dark clouds, making it look colder than it really was. Although the temperatures probably reached 70 today, it felt and looked more like a late fall day. The trees are definitely turning shades of gold, bronze, and red--the treelines along the newly-cut cornfields will soon be fully ablaze with color. At the moment, they're an interesting blend of what I call "old green" and "new autumn."
Seeing Tyler and his parents again was a bittersweet occasion. I held him for a long time and watched him alternately smile and grimace as he dreamed his way through the afternoon. When he awoke, it was with a mighty howl. He continued howling until his mama got that bottle ready and I managed to get him calmed down enough to take it in his yowling little mouth. Halfway through, partially sated and sleepy once more, he threatened to nod off again. I struggled to keep him awake long enough to finish the bottle. Together, we finished the task, traded a few baby kisses, and then Tyler--safe and warm and with a full tummy--drifted off once more in his grateful grandma's arms.
A little while later, we said our goodbyes. Even though I know Derek and Renee will stay in close touch with me, as they always do, and keep me stocked with pictures of their little pride and joy, I will miss knowing I am only two hours away from him. Mississippi seems a long way away when I realize that I'm not only leaving my sister and her husband and my son and daughter-in-law behind, but the newest member of our family, my beloved little Tyler, as well. There will be many, many other times, of course, to visit and spend time together and I know that I can always fly up here (or drive) and be here again in a matter of hours.
But I'm already missing those precious baby kisses.
Until the next time...