Life With Ferris: My Heart Grew 3 Sizes That Day

  • Monday, September 25, 2023
  • Ferris Robinson

I am devoted to my little granddaughter Mary Jane. Like, obnoxiously so. She’s the apple of my eye, and I am absolutely entranced with her. My doting is so extreme I feared there was no way there would be an iota of space for anyone else.

Like the Grinch, I’m all about the roast beast, but I worried we had more in common than food. I’m not exactly like the Dr. Seuss character when it comes to matters of the heart, but I just wasn’t sure how much room there could be for another little being. I mean really, I’m obsessed with MJ to the point my favorite color has changed from blue to pink (her fav) and I only drink out of pink tumblers.

When we heard a new baby was on the way, I was thrilled! When I heard he was a boy, I was ecstatic! And when he was born, I held the tiny little baby not long after he took his first breath of air. And was terrified.

I have three sons, and somehow raised them, jiggling one on my hip while the other one tried to climb on the roof and yet another tried to bite the baby’s fingernails off. They were active boys.

Our tiny grandson, Thomas Taylor Robinson, is not tiny. He’s a good size. When he was born and they sent us his picture, my husband and I both thought he looked so strong and capable he’d be cutting the grass the day they brought him home from the hospital.

He’s a good eater. He’s putting on weight. He cries when he’s hungry and is totally content with whatever’s going on when he’s full.

Tommy does not intimidate his big sister. Mary Jane is perfectly comfortable popping a pacifier in his mouth or giving him a bottle or loudly singing, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” with her nose firmly planted on his. Really, he’s nothing to be scared of.

It took me a minute to understand this. The first time we kept him, he knew something wasn’t quite right. He didn’t exactly cry, but he fidgeted. And we jiggled and rocked and gave him a bottle and hummed and walked and bounced and gave him a bottle and burped him and changed his diaper. I’m not sure what we thought he should be doing, if anything.

The next time we kept him, his eyes had changed to a deep midnight blue, and they watched me. I stood over him, changing his diaper, and when I was done, I cooed to him in a high-pitched voice. Then I moved to the right. And then I moved to the left. And he tracked me like an infant Jack Ryan, not letting me out of his sight no matter how far I moved. I did this for a good while, chatting about adult subjects like lawnmower safety in a singsong voice.

Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Thomas Taylor’s eyes twinkled and his little milky mouth erupted in the biggest grin you’ve ever seen, an all-out slobbery, open-mouthed chortle.

What happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.

I know mine did.

* * *

Ferris Robinson is the author of three children’s books, “The Queen Who Banished Bugs,” “The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds,” and “Call Me Arthropod” in her pollinator series “If Bugs Are Banished.” “Making Arrangements” is her first novel. “Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity” is a collection of true tales about man’s best friend. Her website is and you can download a free pollinator poster there. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror.

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