Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As Tall as My Heart


She will be five in May, and stands almost as tall as my heart now.

She weighs 42 pounds and the days when I can pick her up and hold her close are numbered. Each time I see her I can tell she has grown, and can almost see her growing before my eyes.

Every once in a while I glimpse a trace of her "baby face," but most of the time she has the face of a little girl on the verge of leaving her baby and toddler days behind.

She is a little "girly-girl," whose favorite color is pink, who loves to wear dresses (even in January), and who is never quiet, always singing or talking or babbling. We tease her about looking for her "off button," but there's nothing sweeter to my ears than her little voice singing or talking to herself as she plays with her "babies," as she calls her dolls and stuffed animals. She loves to line them up (all nine of them) on her daybed in her room at our house, and play "school."

I think she would literally play all day long if her Great-Grandmother and I would sit and play with her. Her imagination just goes wild, as she "talks" for her dolls who are the "students" ... and we can get her to sing, count, do arithmetic, say the Pledge of Allegiance," and spell, as long as she's in her "school" mode.

I used to love the way she pronounced her "L's" as "W's," as in "wook," for look, and "yewwow," for yellow. It made me sad when she learned to pronounce her L's, but she still hasn't quite mastered the "th" sound and says "free" for the word three. I know that's going to change soon, too, but for now, it's precious and reminds me that she's still a baby in lots of ways.

One thing that hasn't changed, though, is her love for her "purple bwankie." It was made for her before she was born, by one of her mommy's friends, out of the softest yarn I've ever felt. I guess its softness is why she chose it as her "special" blanket.

It's never far away, except when her mommy or daddy literally sneaks it away to be washed. You can always tell when she's tired or feeling a little insecure by those little fingers gently kneading the blanket, with her mouth drawn up like a rosebud in that precious way she did when she was a baby. Oh, how my heart melts when she does that.

Through the years, and in hundreds of pictures, her "purple bwankie" was never far from her side. It rode in her lap in the car, but wasn't allowed to be taken inside a store or restaurant because of "germs."

It was on the kitchen counter when she helped me cook ...

Or in her hands while she watched tv ...

And even on Christmas morning ...

As time went by, the beloved blanket faded and started to unravel, its yarn becoming thinner and its crocheted holes bigger (this picture was taken last summer).

Her mommy tried to fix it ...

But it was beyond help, and even though it more closely resembles a tattered little ball of yarn now ... to her, it's still her "purple bwankie."

I snapped this picture while she was playing a game on my computer, and it's the most recent one I've taken of the blanket.

She doesn't keep it as close these days, but sometimes she will stop what she's doing and say, "Where's my purple bwankie?" (I love that she still pronounces the "l" as a "w" when it comes to her blanket) ... and off she goes to find it.

She sleeps with it balled up under her chin, and comes downstairs in the mornings carrying it and two or three of her "babies," ready to greet the day.

When the day comes that she's outgrown her "blanket," or it has dwindled to just a few strands of yarn, I hope to preserve it somehow for her to keep and carry on her wedding day as her "something old."

By the way, for those of you who don't know ... she is our granddaughter Avery Grace, and she is the sunshine of my life.

10 comments:

Casey Ann said...

I can so, so relate to this post - except I have 4 granddaughters. They are suitably spaced in age, so they are each going though a wonderful phase in their lives and thoroughly fascinating their grandmother. They also each have a totally different personality and appearance and are always teaching me something new.

As an expert in granddaughters, I can tell you that Grace is very special - and I love hearing about her.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

what a beautiful tribute to your little doll. Aren't Grands the Grandest little people. I love how they carry their security with them, My little Grand is 9 and she still carries Lammie with her everywhere she goes, but now it is in her purse, but always close at hand.
Avery is beautiful.
Molly

Julie @ Sweet Chaos said...

Such a sweet post. My own little sunshine will be 5 on Sunday & I can really relate to the age. Makes me sad, since I have an older daughter who will be 8 in March. I know how fast this time is going. With Laura we were anxious for each single milestone, since she was our first. I've tried to settle down on that, since it seems to rush time. I'll keep them small as long as possible, thanks ;)!

ps, our blankie is called a squiggle. It's got a little silky piece of trim/tail to roll around your fingers! So precious.

racheld said...

I'm all mushy and melty now, myself, and if Our Littlest were not here, singing to her own babies at this moment, I'd probably be a puddly mess.

And I SO treasure the time with all of the little ones---anything involving high chairs is for me!!

We know now that the Georgia clan will be going to Europe soon, for quite a while, and the one who's just as tall as my heart (and carrying a great piece of it around with her) will probably be looking DOWN at me when we see them next.

Treasures, treasures.

Tonja said...

How beautifully you tell her story! I always find it interesting to see just what it may be that a little one becomes attached to. One of my boys had a blanket and the others were very happy with their thumbs!
She is a beautiful child. A good friend of mine had a daughter get married last year. We took the remains of her blanket and sewed them inside the skirt of her dress.

willowbird35 said...

Loved this story of Avery! Made me get a tear in my eye. It seems like we turn around and they are grown - be it our own children, or friend's children, or grandchildren. I had a stuffed tiger that was my security. I still have it, by the way. My own children oddly enough never had anything they carried around like that. My granddaughter will be one next month and she has to have some bwankie when she goes to sleep. So far, she doesn't have one particular favorite but she IS only going to be one soon. We'll see in time. Thank you for sharing that wonderful little story about your own granddaughter. It made my day!

Judy said...

Janie: This post brought "happy" tears to my eyes as it reminds me so much of my Taylor. She will be 6 in May!....how can that be? She didn't have a "blankie" but her pacie which she FINALLY gave up. I still see some traces of her babiness but mostly a little girl growing up way too fast. She, too, is my heart (along with her twin brother Jackson)....double the fun!

Judy

YaYa's Funhouse said...

this is such a touching post. We do love our grandbabies! That blanket looks like it has had plenty of love.

Beth at Aunties said...

Janie,

What a tender and sweet post about little adorable Avery Grace. She truly is a tiny beauty of cuteness. There is such a special love between a grandparent and grandchild. I laid with one of my 7 year old granddaughters (Olivia Grace) tonight to soothe her and help her go to sleep. It was unbelieveable to me that time has gone by so fast adn she is already 7!
Each stage is priceless and fleeting.
I love that you are going to preserve what is left of her purple bwankie for her wedding day.:) You are a wonderful grandma and an example to many of us!!!
~♥

Anonymous said...

Oh I am so happy I popped in today for a visit, I love your posts about your Avery....

FIVE oh my I can't believe how the time is flying....

My daughter brought her blankie...well we call it puffie....to COLLEGE....it came on every trip we ever took....her Grandmother mended it many, many times....I have to say it is now paper thin, she still has it....Janie this girl is now a Math teacher, played Div 1 softball...is as well balanced as you can imagine !!! Nothing like having a puffie/blankie....

My son had one, he called it the blanket with the cold sides...(satin edges) he out grew it around age 4 along with his imaginary friend...oh my we had to set a place at the table and everything...I once sat on him..you can just imagine (pardon the pun) how that went !!!

Thanks for the memories....

Loved this post,
Kathy :)