Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Joy Complete - thoughts on becoming a grandma.

Grandparents. My 'older' friends have been telling me for years that the only reason you have children is so you can have grandchildren.

Grandparents. I am told that you can spoil grandchildren and when the results of that spoilage makes their presence unbearable you can return them to their rightful owners.

Grandparents have a do-over with their grandkids.

Just Google "grandparent quotes" to find all the trite and adorable reasons that being a grandparent is one of the best things on earth.

The funny thing about life is that others often interpret experiences for you. As you share similar experiences you begin to realize that your view may be vastly different.

Of course I have thought about being a grandmother...and my husband being a grandpa. Honestly I hope my little grandson calls me something other than grandma. I like Nana Boo.

I don't have years of experience at this grandma thing. Truth be told, as I write this I haven't been a grandma for even 1 day. But I don't need anyone else to tell me what I have seen and what I feel in my heart.

From that day in August when Kalie and Aaron told us they were expecting, my emotions have been pretty even keel. Sure, I've been excited. But I determined to put on my granny pants and not go overboard...too soon.

My actions were tempered. Since the parents decided to keep the gender hidden from everyone but the ultrasound technologist, spending a small fortune on clothes before the birth didn't seem prudent. I focused my time on considering ways to make life long memories for my grandchild, for my little sweet pea.

Two lovely baby showers and still my emotions were in check. Each event I breathed in the experiences and held them close to my heart.

As Kalie's belly grew so did my tempered enthusiasm. Not a day went by (especially if I was with my mom) that I wasn't asked "Are you excited about being a grandmother?" Of course. But what does that really mean? Being a grandmother?

Kalie and Aaron invited me to be at the baby's birth. This birthing process is something that is very important to me. Since I had two home births (Brenna and Kalie) and Jesse was born in a clinic in PNG, as a young mom I did a lot of research into giving birth. Several family members and friends were in attendance at my own births so having the opportunity to witness this miracle was very important to me. My invitation was a gift and I am thankful beyond words. Kalie is a labor and delivery nurse....she's in the business of delivering babies. (Which by the way, must add an interesting dynamic to the lovely ladies who work at Swedish who delivered Kalie's baby yesterday.)

In the days leading to Kalie's due date I grew increasingly least inwardly. The biggest thing for me was the drive to Seattle. I knew that depending upon the time of day it could be a disaster in making it to the birth on time.

Now don't worry, I am not going to give you a moment-by-moment account of the events surrounding the birth but here's a little insight to the day.

As I look back, each step, each decision was perfectly planned. From the phone call from Erin (Kalie's doula and friend) at 11 pm on Monday, April 8th, to each decision by Kalie and Aaron from that point on.

But this grandparent gig. I still don't think it has completely hit me. I deeply love my children..have from conception. Even now they continually amaze and bless me.

Children can become the best parts of their parents. Then what do we say about our grandchildren?

When little Cyrus was born a whole new world burst open for me. I could barely restrain myself from reaching for him still covered in vernix. As his arms and legs stretched out and sweet cries came from his mouth, being a bystander in this moment was difficult.

Once again, tempering my emotions, I kept my cool. As I gazed upon the flurry of activity surrounding the mom, my daughter, who had just delivered my grandson, completely natural, no drugs, my heart swelled with pride and my mind raced to how this tiny little man was going to forever change my family's life. We have a grandson, a nephew, a son.

So I am new at this grandma gig. Today we will welcome him into his parent's home, share some time with his other grandparents, watch them marvel at this little wonder.

Tomorrow and the next day, to infinity and beyond, this little man, Cyrus J. McNelly, and I will together get this grandma thing down. I am pretty sure it will come naturally. And no doubt before too long, I'll believe that what my 'older' friends have been telling me about grandchildren is true.

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