How Does He Know …?

Greetings of the season everyone. Thea Devine today. I hope you all had a magical Christmas. I know I did, having spent three days previous to Christmas and Christmas day itself, with our grandson. I now know the purpose of grandmothers — it is to have the joy of stepping back, as I’ve commented to some of you — and really see and appreciate everything that as a first time mother you were to scared, too cautious, too focused on not making a mistake to notice.

I was thirty-two when my first son was born, absolutely certain I was ready, had the reserve of patience, balance and practicality to deal with a newborn. NOT. I was on the phone with my mom-in-law every day. I was scared witless. And sometimes felt helpless.

But this first-time grandma found that all her apprehension about whether she even remembered what to do with a baby evaporated in weeks and what took hold was observing the miracle of his progression from newborn to nearly 11 month old and all he’s learned in between.

How does he know …
to open his mouth like a little bird when Mama feeds him; to reach, to grab, to hold; to kick; to get up on his knees and rock back and forth; to push a button; to sit; to manipulate things with his fingers; to laugh — what is funny to a baby? –; to be in on the joke: when I’m feeding him, sometimes he catches my eye just as he clamps down on the spoon with his teeth, and then he gives me a big smile.

How does he know that? He’s about two steps and a couple of bounces away from walking and talking. He babbles non-stop. He’s the energizer bunny. He found the kitchen cabinets. How did he know? He can spend a day pulling himself to a standing position, taking two steps and flopping, and up again before you can count to five. How does he know that pushing his cover into a mound in his crib will elevate him to see better? How does he know that’s him in the mirror? How did he figure out what a kiss is, and to respond by pressing his open mouth against my cheek?

I am awed and floored by his progression so far. He is excellent company, easy to be with. His one year birthday is coming soon and I can’t wait to see what happens after that. But that’s his story.

There’s a lesson here for authors too. Step back sometimes and really see what’s going on in your manuscript. Consider the small things, the simple things about your characters and why and how they know what they know and do what they do. Don’t let them take baby steps. Let them grow organically. Let them show you what they want to be when they grow up.

Any grandmas out there? What awes you about your grandchild?

Thea Devine’s books defined erotic historical romance. She’s currently working on her next erotic contemporary romance.


5 thoughts on “How Does He Know …?”

  1. Sweet post, Thea. I’m not in grandma land just yet but I’m always in awe of children and babies. They are a constant surprise and are genius level learners. It simply takes a little one’s smile to light up a room and have everyone within visual grinning along with them. I like how you apply your observation skills with examining our characters in the same way. It’s sure to make our characters that much more real. Thanks for the tip!

  2. You wear that Grandmother-Mantle like a true queen, Thea! No little ones in my immediate family right now, but I’ve got a niece who’s engaged, so maybe in the not-too-distant future. What a lovely connection you’ve drawn between a baby’s development and the development of our characters. May 2013 bring many, many blessings for you and your family!

    1. Thanks so much, Suzanne. That’s so dear. All grandchildren are amazing, especially if they’re yours, and including, eventualy, your niece. There are no words — just loooooooooovvvveee — complete and unconditional.


  3. How wonderful, how marvelous, how amazing grandchildren are. The little baby giggles turn into strong, honest laughs of men and women. They have smiles with love in their eyes when they open the door and see Grammy Gail has come to visit. I love watching them be brothers, and sisters and cousins. We have thirteen of them, each one a special joy.

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