Saturday, July 17, 2021

Our little blessing of 2013

In the early part of 2013, at the time of year when it's still winter and memories come flooding back on old folks daily, Cliff and I admitted to one another that we missed having a baby in our lives.  All the grandchildren were far past infancy, even the youngest one in Georgia.  I once told Cliff, "If somebody sneaked up here and left a baby on our doorstep, I'd just keep it." 

It was no more than a month or so later that I found out the couple who kept their horses in our pasture were expecting a baby.  Cliff and I thought how nice it would be if we could babysit the child... but who would want old folks taking care of a baby?  It took me a long time to get my nerve up enough to ask the future dad, "Who is going to babysit your baby after she's born?"

They really hadn't figured that out yet, so I told him Cliff and I had discussed it, and we would be happy to have a baby in our lives again; it seemed like it had been so long since I held an infant in my arms, and yet I was afraid we were just too old to care for a child every day.

Well, the parents were very happy to have us caring for their future child, so when the time came and the little girl made her appearance in August, she was our little angel as soon as her mom went back to work.  She was around two months old.  We thought she was the most beautiful child we had ever seen.

We smiled more than we'd smiled for years!  That little girl made us so happy, and life was never boring with her around, learning and growing.  There are probably 500 pictures of her on my computer, not to mention the videos of her learning to walk and and talk and dance... I could go on for pages telling you about her cuteness and intelligence, but I won't.  

Cliff didn't want to take her anywhere with us in the car because "What if we had a wreck?  I'd never forgive myself!"  I mentioned this to her mother, who said, "I don't care where you take her... take her anywhere you want."

So when she was about five months old, we went to Costco with her, where she yelled in baby-talk at everybody we passed.  One elderly man told Cliff, "She looks just like you, Grandpa."  We didn't bother to tell him she was no relation to us, and Cliff beamed with pride.

On the way home from Costco, we stopped by Burger King, and since it was our first outing with her, I took a picture.

Here's a picture of her when she was perhaps 11 months old:

When she was around five years old, I told her parents we were getting on in age, and advised them to find another babysitter; I just didn't have the energy any more, and I knew someone younger could do a better job of teaching her things she needed to know.  We were sad to see her go, of course.  We loved her, and still do.

We've seen her briefly on several occasions over the last couple of years, but her dad messaged me Tuesday evening asking if she could spend the next day, Wednesday, with us; his mom would have had her, but she had a doctor's appointment.  Of course, we were thrilled.  It had been a long time since we had her to ourselves.

And here she is Wednesday, playing Old Maid with Cliff.  Notice Gabe laying at her feet.  He came here as a puppy when she was around 3 years old, and he still remembers her.  He almost tore the house down barking when he saw her arrive, and followed her around the whole day.  We enjoyed her company so much.  But even at the age of (almost) 8, she still wears us out.  We did the right thing asking to babysit, and we did the right thing when we realized we needed to send her on her way.

And we will always love her.  I hope she has a long and very happy life.  Dolly Parton said it best when she wrote this song:

I Will Always Love You
If I should stay
Well I would only be in your way
And so I'll go, and yet I know
I'll think of you each step of the way
And I will always love you
I will always love you
Bitter-sweet memories
That's all I'm taking with me
Good-bye, please don't cry
'Cause we both know that I'm not
What you need
But I will always love you
I will always love you
And I hope life, will treat you kind
And I hope that you have all
That you ever dreamed of
Oh I do wish you joy
And I wish you happiness
But above all this
I wish you love
I love you
I will always love you


  1. She is adorable. Your were so wise both times. I have never thought of that song in anyway other than for an adult breakup but it fits perfectly in this situation. Somehow, I hope she and her parents see this. Just beautiful.

    1. I put the link to this entry on Facebook and tagged them in it. Here's her dad's comment: Priceless ❤️ Donna M. Wood and Clifford Wood you was the best thing for her and she loves you all dearly and speaks often of you both you both taught her so so much and helped shape her into the little girl she is today i can never thank you both enough for giving her all the time patients attention that you gave to her it was a true blessing having you both in her life! I couldn't think of any better 2 people i could of trusted with my little girl! You both always been a blessing in my life and in Cora's and she will always love you both!! Thank you!!

  2. You and Cliff were in the right place at the right time. There are no accidents.

  3. What a heart-warming story, Donna.... and what a sweet & precious little girl. That age, in particular, is soooo much fun!! Someone could give me a baby today and I'd keep him/her without problem. Children, particularly babies, are my lifeblood! ~Andrea xoxoxo

  4. Two wonderfully life changing decisions. She enriched your life, and you hers.

  5. She is just lovely..even at 8 years old!

  6. I watched and read your blog and FB as you cared for Cora. I am also one who loves babies. She will always love you. What a wonderful way to start life.

  7. She is an absolutely beautiful little girl. How wonderful that she was part of your lives for that long. I used to babysit before I went back to teaching. I don't think I'd have the energy to do it now.

  8. When I started reading, my initial thought was oh boy, but then I quickly learned that this was all told in past tense and that the baby was actually a young lady now. I'm not yet to the missing a baby in the house stage and hopefully that will be a long while before it arrives. Because I was late to get married, I'm still a long ways from being a grandparent... I hope!

  9. What a wonderful post. So glad this story has a happy ending.


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