Now the tiny, wrinkled newborn my Mom watched being born is a
bossy self-confident preschooler named Eva.
She adores her German Oma. She chats her up all day long, which is a
little difficult since my mother doesn't understand 80 percent of
Eva's dialogue, but that doesn't stop those two from bonding. I
watch them with their heads together, or holding hands on a walk, or
sharing a piece of pie as if they had known each other all their
lives. It makes me teary, knowing that a continent separates us and
that these times of togetherness are extra special. We would visit
each other more if it weren't so expensive to fly to each other's
countries. I haven't been back to Germany in nine years. NINE
years! I want to show my children my home country, but there are some obstacles, like the five thousand dollars or more just for the flight for our family of
five, or time away from our homestead with all its animals and chores.
My kids are fascinated by their German grandma with her funny accent, hilarious choice of words, and the mystique and sense of adventure swirling around her from her BMW-motorcycle-riding-days, when she used to come visit me and we toured together on our motorcycles. Despite the language barrier and despite the fact that they only met her once, they are getting along like best pals. My twelve-year-old son Kai baked her an apple pie for her first dinner in our house. My middle son Lukas plays drums and keyboard for her to keep her entertained. And Eva shows her around the forest to collect salmonberries, or introduces her to the animals on our homestead.
My mother and I used to be estranged and didn't talk for a couple of years. Now, while we are weeding and planting my garden together, or go for long walks along the river, or feed the pigs, or play with the goats, we talk for hours every day. There's so much to catch up on, so much to remember from the past, so much to explain and heal. We both feel very tender, I think, and know that these days are numbered. She will leave again in a couple of weeks, and who knows if we will ever see each other again?
I am so proud to show her my life because I love my life, and I have worked hard to build it. It moves me to see how happy she is about the fact that I have succeeded in finding love, purpose and happiness.
So we walk and talk, do chores and drink beer late into the night. We have hugged more in the week she has been here than we have our whole lives. We are smelling the roses together. Ahhh, the roses! Ahhh, the garden!