JUST CALL ME GRANDMA

From the moment he looked up into my eyes as I held him — just an hour old — I loved him. Skeptics tell me this isn’t possible — infants can’t focus that soon. But I know we recognized each other then. My first grandchild, the newest, tenderest little sprout on our family tree, was born on June 23, 2012. He’s the model of a bouncing baby boy, weighing in at 8 pounds 6 ounces and measuring 22 inches long. I’m allowed some prejudice, but it’s obvious to anyone that he’s handsome, alert, and charming from his fingertips to his toes. Actually, his fingers and toes are on the long side for a baby — a sure sign of good breeding, I’ve heard.

Wrote the above over a month ago, wanting to spread the news of my grandson’s arrival and how it feels to be a grandma at last. Never could pass a baby without admiring. But since my son married, it’s possible I’ve been more enthusiastic than necessary. I’ve been busy admiring my grandson’s facial expressions, sounds and movements, cuddling him and just realizing the miracle of him. He’s more entertaining than anything on TV, including the Summer Olympics. Since Honey and I got together I’ve known that “Happiness is a warm puppy.” (Thank you, Charlie Brown.) Now I know that a warm baby is bliss.

I’ve been interrupted again by a diagnosis of walking pneumonia, thankfully not the lying-in-a-hospital-bed variety. I felt like I did a year ago when I posted “Under the Weather” — congested, very tired, run-down, the blahs. Thought I had an ordinary, lingering chest cold, but decided to see a doctor — wouldn’t go near the baby with any germs. Am taking an antibiotic, drinking lots of water (no wine for a while) and following orders to get lots of rest: “Only do what you feel up to doing.” I feel like writing about my grandson. He’s seven weeks old today, and I want to finish this before he gets any bigger, brighter, better-looking or more amazing.

It’s wonderful in this somewhat more enlightened age that couples can be together through the birthing process. My son and his wife were a loving team from beginning to end. Another beginning, actually. From the time my daughter-in-law, two weeks overdue, had labor induced — through painful contractions that started a day later — through many hours of hard pushing –they were able to share relief and joy as their son finished his own big job of working his way into the world. We all know the mother has most of the work from pregnancy through delivery. And then there’s all that child rearing to come. But a caring father earns points for emotional and other support. It doesn’t seem as if the baby has such an easy time of it either.

My daughter-in-law’s mom, her dad and step-mother, her step-sister (soon to be Auntie Em) and I were invited to decamp to the appropriately named waiting room where we waited — alternately nervous, excited, talkative or silent. We took turns going to the nurses station outside the birthing room to check on progress — always the same answer: “Still pushing.” Four hours later my son texted: “We see the head.” Soon after we met him in the hall — lots of hugs, kisses, all talking at once. My daughter-in-law looked serene, as beautiful as ever,in fact glowing. The new father said later he caught her in the background of a picture, slumping just a little. The baby was perfect, with a surprising head of brown hair and dark blue eyes. We all had a turn holding him, his sturdy little body swaddled in a blanket. I could go on and on, but will pause for now.

My grandson is growing and thriving, thank God. His parents are delighted with him. So are we all. The proud new father reported that his son, only three weeks old, turned over from his stomach to his back. I was dubious, but witnessed the feat myself. Maybe he’ll join the Cirque de Soleil someday. I don’t know what road he’ll take when he’s a man and I won’t see how far he’ll go, but I’ll be here to cheer his first steps.

Just re-read the above and wanted to add a “deep thought” while my grandson naps.” It’s Thursday today, my usual day to mind him, and my favorite day of the week.  I decided long ago that a rose is proof enough of God for me. But a baby is proof of His love.

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4 Comments »

  1. Mary Mahon Beeckman said

    So happy for you! So will you be Nana, Grandma, Nan, etc? Take your pick, or something more unique—
    Love, Mary B. (going thru moving madness)

    • Thanks, Mary. I’ll be Grandma — don’t need a lovelier title than that. Good luck with your movie. Love, Eileen

  2. Dear Eileen I am sorry to hear that you were unwell again. I wish you every joy with your grandson. With good wishes B @ Just Add Atttitude

    • Thanks, B. Mommy, daddy and baby visited me yesterday. Felt better just being near them — but not too close in case of germs. I know my pearls outweigh the perils in the long run.

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