Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Anna's visit

Today, I shall not write about Anna's sleep habits.

Instead, I will try and find something more exciting for you to read about.

(Pause. Blink. Blink.)

Oh wait. My life isn't very exciting.

Would you like to know about the breakfast I just ate? Or the laundry I have to do? Or the cleaning and cooking I have yet to get done? How about a list of my errands I must run? All very gripping stuff, I tell ya.

Sometimes I wonder why people read blogs. What is it about my life that makes you actually want to read it? Am I boring you to death with the daily accounts of Anna's lack of sleeping?

Then I do something like I did today. And I realize that people should really hear about it.

Today, Anna and I went to an Early Years Drop-In Centre for a program called "Family Time Intergenerational". Anna and I hung out and played with other little kids, and seniors, at a seniors' home.

I'm not going to lie... sometimes I'm quite uncomfortable around really old people. Not having grandparents around in my life, I've never really been close to someone who's grown old. I've never seen someone I know lose their "with it" factor. I don't quite know how to act, and I feel sort of awkward, around people who don't seem to be able to hear or see very well. Who don't really know where they are. Who can't communicate anymore.

But when I dropped into another Early Years Centre (strictly for babies and toddlers), the woman there told me about this centre where they mix up the company and bring the little kids to sing songs, do crafts, play games and so on with the old folks.

I was intrigued.

And when the woman there told me that it means the world for these old people just to watch little babies and kids play and laugh and sing, I was sold. I wanted to be a part of that.

So today, Anna and I joined a group of about 8 seniors and 4 other little kids. Out of the 8 seniors, only 3 seemed to be able to really talk. Another senior didn't even seem to be able to lift her head all that well. Most just sort of stared around the room a bit blankly.

But when Anna and I got up and walked around the circle, past each senior, stopping to wave and dance and sing a little bit... I realized that the woman who told me about this program really knew what she was talking about.

I saw one man's blank stare change... instantly. He looked right at me. His face lit up. It literally lit up. And he watched Anna watch him. He was happy that my baby was just looking at him.

I saw an old lady look at Anna and smile. And then I saw her look right into my eyes, as if she was telling me how lovely my baby was. And when I smiled back at her, I knew we were communicating without words.

I listened to one old woman tell me that Anna was just the sweetest. And I watched another woman's face shine when Anna reached out and grabbed her finger.

It's the little, very simple moments like today that make me realize maybe I do have a story worth telling. The fact that Anna can bring happiness to these old folks just by being her, just by looking into the eyes of another human being... well, that's pretty special.

And that's something that I think everyone would like to read about.


  1. what a very nice post hez! very touching :)

  2. This was definitely worth reading Heather. Though, I love all your blogs about Anna and yourself! This was an amazing thing you did! Congratulations to you and your little bundle of joy!

    Aunt S{:~>))))

  3. I just read this and felt rather teary. We have had parents that age and "lose it" but they don't lose it all. You were able to relate on a level with them that at one time was very important to them. Good for you both to bring joy into these seniors' lives and in yours as well. The old what goes around comes around factor. Anna has this winning smile that can bring anyone out of the doldrums.

  4. Next time warn me that I'll need to reapply my mascara. As someone who has a Mom who is in the early stages of dementia, I can tell you that you have just performed the most compassionate public service imaginable. As we age, our worlds get smaller and smaller and, sadly, many seniors find themselves either alone or mostly in the company of other seniors. Babies are everything that's right with the world. Thank you for making their day a little brighter. Come November, I have another senior place for you to visit with Anna.

  5. I am reading your blog through tears Heather. This is so touching. Anna is so gorgeous, how could these seniors not be touched by your very beautiful Anna!

    Aunt V

  6. Heather, today's blog has just confirmed what I've thought all along. You are an amazingly wonderful human being. Yup, you are. :)

  7. Wow - thank you for the comments everyone!

    @ Chris - it must be touching if you're not finding a way to tease me in your comment!

    @ Aunt S - Thank you! :)

    @ Kathy - You're definitely right about Anna's winning smile.

    @ Franny Glass - Just tell me where to be and I'm there. It would be an honour to get to hang out with Mama Glass.

    @ Aunt V - Thank you! You're right... how could anyone NOT love little Anna eh?? :)

    @ Laurie - Oh my goodness, you're making me blush!!! Your comment just made my day. No wait... my week! Thank you so much!