Mathilde, my little national treasure, you’re not even done with stinky feet yet, when your pretty mom is leaning over your bassinet, with her messy hair and her dark circles from exhaustion, you go. with your most beautiful toothless smile. You’re ahead of your age, it seems, as evidenced by this photo taken just 36 hours after you were born and in which, ready to leave the hospital, you stare into the lens with your sharp little blue eyes, the as if to say: “What are we waiting for to consecrate the camp? Which makes me cry about my life, of course, like everything you do that shows your intelligence and your dirty little character.
When I happen to slip you a word about it, you look away with a raised eyebrow, or you fart nonchalantly. A little more and you would yawn with boredom. Didn’t you decide to arrive more than a week late, leaving your mother exhausted after 21 hours of work and 6 hours of pushes? We see right away that you are the worthy descendant of a line of boquées. Believe me, your parents are in business.
I’ll have to remember to stock up at Costco. Because between you and me, I can’t see the day when your mother would forgive me for having wiped up my tears with the corner of a linen tablecloth brought back from Rome. You know what I mean. We know her. And then handkerchiefs, we can never have too many. We can always make carnations mounted on pipe cleaners, during our DIY sessions, or stuff your first bra with it. At each age his Kleenex. Sweet Jesus, just wish I was still alive to see this.
When I go to rock you, some afternoons, just to let your parents rest a little, you’re just a little ball of love, all cuddled up against me. It seems to me that the peace of your sleep calms the erratic hiccups of my still frightened heart and that your breath restores to my life the one it lacked, before I was told that you had landed in your mother’s womb. In your ballerina pajamas, with your hands open like starfish on either side of your face, you surrender to my lamentable humming. My little one is like water… we know the rest. It is Guy Béart who must be turning in his grave at the cemetery of Garches. A grandmother who sings like a rattle! Well, tell yourself that it could have been worse. I know some who are really stingy on jujubes, you will know.
Sometimes you open an eye, just to make sure that I haven’t taken advantage of your snooze to clear off like a hypocrite. And when you see me, you start blowing imaginary smoke rings with your silken mouth. I am made to the bone, it is clear. No need to remind me of that with your disillusioned princess sighs. What I have been able to accomplish, succeed or brave in my life will be nothing more than peanuts next to my adoration for you. I should point out to you that I was already, in this chapter, in shit up to my neck the second I gave birth to your mother. You can guess what it is now, as each of your blinks drives the nail of mad love that leaves no respite to poor grannies like me. However, I will have to resolve to tell you no, from time to time. But oh! do not worry. Barring exceptions, your wishes will be orders, my little darling. Nothing to fear there. You lead and I follow.
Matou, for a mind like mine, quick to fear life’s about-turns and disasters always ready to swoop down mercilessly on brand-new happiness, becoming a grandmother has its share of challenges. A redness on a buttock quickly becomes a sign of scurvy and a sneeze, that of the Spanish flu. Either we’re crazy or we’re not.
Who would have believed it ? At the age when our flocks have left the nest to make their living, when we think we can finally breathe a little, it turns out that a little piece of not even 3.6 kg launches you to back into the circle of unconditional and all-consuming love. It’s go again.
You are the life of your mother and your father which continues, my otter. You are mine, too, that of your grandfather just like that of your great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers. You, too, enter into the movement of the wheel which turns to infinity. How beautiful and confident you are in the crook of my arms! And how wonderful your mother is, all haloed in love as she kisses you tirelessly!
What a fantastic life I predict for you, Matou! The wind in the sails, an open heart, an outstretched hand towards others and with, as a bonus, the certainty of being adored no matter what.
No, but what luck, when you think about it.