Friday, August 5, 2016

Look What I Got!

If God had intended us to follow recipes,
He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.
Linda Henley

Last Christmas Eve I was slamming egg nog in Austin with my husband and oldest son and daughter-in-law -- the ones that have been married for six years. The middle son and wife were in New York City spending the holiday with youngest son. With my computer perched on the kitchen table, we had them on Facetime while that Bama Sous Chef boy opened his presents from us.

My daughter-in-law put a present in my lap and said it was a good time to open it. I did and found a book, a lovely copy of The Night Before Christmas. We were admiring the beautiful drawings in the book  and as I studied them, my son informed me there was something else in the package.  I turned the pages looking for whatever else might be in there when in desperation he said, "In the package, Mom. Not in the book." 

What I then pulled out made me burst into tears.

As I scanned the room, I saw we were all flowing. When I looked at my sons on the computer screen, they were wiping at their eyes, too. The Crying Family.

I never know how I'm going to react to things. Especially those I'm not expecting.  I like to think I'm someone in control of my emotions. I know I'm a crier and often can't shut that off, but I also have delayed reactions. In grave situations or when something needs to get done, I hold it together for any given length of time. Later, when things settle down, I either fall apart or enjoy the elation, depending on the event. 

As I've waited these months for that little baby to join the world, I've pondered my upcoming response. What kind of grandmother will I be? What will I be thinking when I see that child? Will I react like I'm supposed to? And what might that "supposed to" be?

I needn't have worried. For the other night, I don't think I was thinking. Pure emotion reigned. It was incredible joy.

But not so fast. We did have to wait. Where the first 8 months of that pregnancy flew by, the last four weeks seemed an eternity. Much more so for my daughter-in-law, Chelsea. As I recalled, the last two weeks of pregnancy made me feel it was a permanent condition. That those two weeks of misery were designed to extinguish all my fears and anxieties in regard to childbirth. Chelsea gained that same perspective.

When labor finally, finally began, the grandparents-to-be gathered in the birthing room to wait it out. From early morning until late in the day, poor Chelsea and my son, the worrier,  were stuck with the four of us while she labored, he studied and tended to requested massages, and we entertained ourselves.

Jacob studied the nurse and doctor notes.

Bob yucked it up from the Lazy Boy chair.

Debbie and I covered every subject on Earth.

Just muzzle that man!
When Chelsea reached the pushing stage, the old folks left the room and huddled in a waiting room. Or walked laps around the hospital. Or ate tacos from the cafeteria. Or who knows what else. Middle son arrived after tending the animals left at home. (New daughter-in-law, Leigh, was out of town for work and most unhappy she was missing it. Chef boy far away and working as well.)

Finally, our phones all dinged. Oh, my, goodness.

Bingo! We all had to get busy.

The waiting world now informed of our good news.

"The baby is here!"

We began another waiting game. After the doctor put Chelsea back together, the hospital declared The Golden Hour where only the new parents were with the baby. Seriously? Banished with only our phone photo in hand to sustain us, we took to the hospital parking lot for some good old-fashioned Tailgating. 


As the "Golden Hour" moved into its third hour, we were lagging. Our champagne buzzes long subsided, we were more than ready when we got the message to come on down the hall. And then,

I don't know why I worried about my reaction. Sheer joy escaped unaided. 

We counted fingers and toes.

And then just looked at this beautiful child, who studied us with equal wonder.

 Yes, it's a girl! 
After three brothers and three sons, I get a girl. 

The next day we spent a little time getting to know her.

Uncle Jordan

Grandpa Bob

 And as the days go by, we gaze in awe.

Thank you, Debbie, for sharing this one with us.

Of course, we retrieved Jacob's baby photos from the closet and wondered if we could see her daddy in her.
Or this one I have of her beautiful mama.

After much consideration, I'm thinking she looks like Maisy Grace.

Welcome to the world, sweet girl. 

I don't know if I know how to be a girl Grandma, but I'm thinking I'll let Maisy teach me. Meantime, we'll just hang.


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