I became a grandparent 2-1/2 years ago. And again a mere year later. They both changed me – drastically.
Before I proceed, I will admit several things: I am so happy that the "mother’s curse" works. Until #1 grandson was born, I did not like the idea of being called grandma. Somehow I am a much wiser person and have garnered new found respect from our daughter.
When our daughter and son-in-law told us about this intended birth, I will say I was wholly unprepared to be a grandmother. I don’t know why, but I always picture someone who looks like Auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz, as to what a grandma should look like. My grandmother didn’t look like that! My mother, god bless her, is 79, refuses to wear anything less than a 2" heel and has never in my 51 years made homemade cookies-oh and she still has more black hair than gray and has never, ever dyed her mane. But I still think of grandmas as being, well, matronly.
So it was with great apprehension that I took the news. Only my husband acted more "freaked out" about this next step in life than I did. I think that’s why pregnancy is supposed to last 40 weeks, so grandparents can get used to the idea. I say supposed to because my mom had 3 preemies, I had 2, my sister had 2 and our daughter had hers ahead of schedule. Seems we like to have our kids, small, early and fast!
About the mother’s curse: I bestowed it on my wonderful daughter when she was around 10. She was really being, for lack of a better word, a "pill" one day and I said: May you grow up and have two children just like you my love! She cried, buckets-asking why I hated her so. Ah, kids. Anyway, I’m seeing "the curse" has come true.
While I did not want to be called grandma at first, seeing that little tiny bundle of joy for the first time changed me-immediately. Somehow, the incubator, the heat lamps, the IV’s sticking out of that poor baby melted my heart. When I heard that he was in good enough condition to go home 24 hours later without any monitors, I found myself crying in relief.
The next day when I arrived at my daughter’s home, it felt different-it was now a real home, with a warmth it didn’t seem to have before the arrival of this baby boy named Dylan.
Our daughter wanted to talk about the pain and worry of giving birth. She couldn’t understand how she would ever be able to love another baby when her heart was overflowing now. I assured her that she would soon forget the physical pain and get used to the exhaustion. When the time came, the next child would soon fill a different section of her heart-the same way her brother did. And he did, Aidan came as a very slightly belated birthday present to his older brother a mere 12 months and 10 days later.
Yes, the love of your first child is like none other, but that the love of any subsequent children would be just as special, but different, just like them.
She wanted to know how I knew so much? I told her she too would be just as worldly and knowledgeable-she just wouldn’t know it for about twenty-five years or so, when her child became a parent.
As for being called grandma-it will be more than my pleasure. It may even be my true calling.