By COLLEEN LEDDY
I don’t know how Laura Ingalls Wilder’s grandmas could stand it. No visits with their little grandchildren as Pa and Ma Wilder and family headed off into the wilderness. No telephones, no Skype or FaceTime, no airplanes to make visits quick and easy.
It’s painful with one grandchild so far away. What the heck am I going to do when Ben and Sarah’s baby arrives in October—in Miami?
Rosie and Caroline returned to Baton Rouge Sunday and it was another hard-to-separate episode for me. As we approached the terminal at Detroit Metro, I suggested we park instead of just dropping them off. And, even though she wasn’t burdened by a car seat and an extra suitcase and could easily handle one suitcase, a diaper bag and a baby, Rosie, bless her heart, agreed that would be a good idea.
She could go to the bathroom while I held Caroline, she said, and have an extra set of hands while changing her diaper. Caroline’s been known to writhe like a snake and flip like an Olympic gymnast during diaper changes, so I was of some use. But in no time, they were ready to head to their gate.
I carried Caroline through the security line, saying my usual goodbyes with three sets of kisses (to both cheeks) and three hugs until they reached the last stretch of the line. That’s when I ducked under the webbing and watched and waved as Rosie loaded her luggage on the belt and Caroline charmed her fellow passengers.
As they passed through the final leg of security, one of the TSA guards stood up and pointed at me. I thought he was about to invite me to hug them a final goodbye. Later, Rosie texted “I thought he was going to let you come closer or something since he saw us waving.”
Instead, exasperated, he yelled, “Ma’am, you need to stand on the other side of that sign!”
What sign? I thought, as I looked all around me. And then I backed up and discovered it.
“DO NOT ENTER!”
I hadn’t seen that sign since I was too busy kissing Caroline’s cheeks and already past it when I had ducked under the webbing.
Maddie would have been mortified, but Rosie just laughed. Caroline was totally oblivious, of course, although she did have this look on her face that asked, “What are you doing over there? Why aren’t you coming with us?”
I could have sat in the car and cried at their departure, but instead I headed for Ann Arbor and drowned my sorrows in sweet things. I ate the Zingerman’s equivalent of a Ding Dong and then an almond honey bar at the People’s Food Co-op.
At Whole Foods I bought half a pound of Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds and did not eat the whole bag on the way home, but a day later, I’m still drowning and the bottom of the bag is now visible. Almonds coated in toffee, then dipped in dark chocolate...holy moley. You try eating just one. I usually don’t buy so many because I know my weakness.
But Whole Foods switched from a scoop dispensing system to a gravity fed one in their bulk foods department, and gravity had other plans for how many Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds I’d be buying. I didn’t protest; I considered it a sign from above.
I also bought a tiny fruit tart and a little chocolate raspberry tart, fully intending to wallow in more self pity when I arrived home. But, somehow, I practiced restraint. until lunch on Monday. I cut the tart in half, intending to save some for David, but then decided he didn’t need it as much as I did. There was no pretense of generosity when it came to the chocolate raspberry tart.
And I wonder why, unlike the “Dancing with the Stars” stars who have muscles on their muscles, I have fat on my fat? It’s pretty obvious—drown your sorrows in sweets and you’re going to gain girth.
William Shakespeare forgot to warn us about that when he wrote, “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” but I think that’s what he meant.