I just returned from Texas where my younger son lives, with his wife and their 7-mont-old baby. In my normal life, I deal with stress of the conventional sort and sometimes have a desire to eat more than my body needs or to get a bit grouchy. Those 14-hour days will do it to you.

Then I went to the Land of Baby-dom. Imagine a world in which you were so enthralled with how many poops the baby had, whether or not he could sleep one hour instead of three for his nap, so he wouldn't be up all night, and mainly, how to roll around on the floor and PLAY with him.

Entering The Land of Baby-dom

Gone were the stress, the appetites, and the slight edge. The days flew by. My psychologist head says, "Okay Laurel, you know that the 8th circuit of emotional development is to choose either regenerativity or despair. Well, in the Land of Baby-dom, it's regenerativity."

It could be emotional or spiritual, but it's also very tactile. Who talks about the joy of putting a baby on a bed to change him or her, and they flip over, smiling at their power to escape your diapering? They look you right in the eye and LAUGH!

Clearly, it's absolutely impossible not to LAUGH back! The arms are banging, the legs kicking, and oh, what fun it is! Then there is the entire drama of putting them down for a nap, first with the thick blanket for comfort, then a wispy thin sheet, and how they LOVE playing peek-a-boo as you draw it over their face.

Baby-dom Withdrawals

Yes, I'm going through Baby-dom withdrawal, and fooling myself that it is about regenerativity, giving back. Right now it feels more like the ultimate gift. You have children and to have children have their own children . . . well, that is heaven-sent.

Now back to real life . . . and I need to sleep off my baby addiction and return to life as I knew it before . . . but with one change. I know my grandson is there and in small but important ways, perhaps I helped him learn, change, and grow, and find his own sparkle of JOY.

He gave me a lot of Joy Sparkles! And perhaps that is his role in the grand scheme of life! Helping the older people learn, change, and grow!