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My Best Day: Who else to volunteer but ‘oma’

By on December 24, 2018 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Oma DeeDee and baby Ella.

By DeeDee Cleveland

My best day of 2018 was a very long day — about 36 hours.

I was eager to meet my son’s first child. I awoke Oct. 8 at 5 a.m., leaving Chelan to arrive at SeaTac airport in time for a 2:40 p.m. flight to Europe. Seattle to Amsterdam was nine and a half hours landing at 8 a.m. on what was by then Oct. 9. I stayed awake thanks to entertainment on the screen in front of me.

Next was the four-and-a-half hour layover in Amsterdam then a one hour flight to Nuremberg landing at 2 p.m.

At the airport, I rushed to the escalator and U-bahn station, literally beneath the airport and hopped onto a high speed train at 2:30 p.m. That trip took about 20 minutes.

With the guidance of kind strangers, I boarded a Bahnhof train heading northeast for Ansbach. No signs inside the train indicated the stops and knowing no German, I was trying to follow along with my phone’s GPS. Thankfully, some folks near me said they were getting off at the same station, so no worries, “Just follow us.”

By 3:45 p.m. my daughter-in-law met me at the station.

This is where the best part started — meeting Ella. I felt nothing but excitement and amazement. I rode in the back seat of the car, holding the five-week-old’s little hand as she slept, which she did a lot of during the next two weeks.

When we arrived at their home in a charming Bavarian village, an hour had passed and it was soon time to think of dinner.

Naturally, someone had to hold Ella while the meal was prepared, who else to volunteer but “oma” (one German word committed to my memory).

Unpacking or freshening up was not important at the moment — my main focus was on Ella.

After my son arrived home from work we ate dinner, me holding the infant in one arm and eating with one hand as parents often do when a child is small. Most moms will remember the tenderness and ease of handling one so tiny.

Soon it was baby’s turn to eat and then prepare her for a nap. The every four-hour feedings felt natural although it had been over 30 years since I had that parental responsibility.

It brought me so much pleasure to be with Ella for two weeks with lots of time to hold her and snuggle during the days and nights. We gazed into each other’s eyes, she napped on my chest with my heartbeat to sooth her, and her smiles were nonstop even when napping.

She is a good traveler; she likes her stroller rides in Bavaria and is curious of everything around her.

We are all looking forward to our next time together, not yet decided which comes first — in the USA or Germany. But this oma will be eagerly anticipating the day.

DeeDee and her husband live in the beautiful Chelan valley. Now retired, passions include yoga, rock collecting, painting rocks and photographing doors.

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  1. Evan says:

    Wonderful story and a wonderful time it was.

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