I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!
For those of you who follow my blog, some of you since the very beginning, you get to share in one of my most treasured expectations that is going to change my life in a wonderful way! Yes, in case you missed the headline, I'M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!
My beautiful daughter, my firstborn child, Heather, is PREGNANT and is expecting one very special baby! She's going to be a MOM! And Henry will be a great DAD!
For a couple of weeks, we were wondering if there might be twins hanging out in the womb, but there's just one little sweetie growing stronger each day! I am very excited to think about what my grandchild might look like! So much to think about! So many wonderful times in store for our family!
I am so happy when I think about the two hearts of these newlyweds being so perfect for one another and now they've created a new little heart. It will be a while before we have our introductions to this new little one joining the family, but time does fly when you're having fun!
I look back over twenty-five years ago when I gave birth to Heather, and I can't believe I went through my pregnancy and birth without my family. Then I raised her to be a toddler in Germany, so far away from my family and my most important friends. It was difficult, but worthwhile. Since those were the days of living without the Internet and without cell phones, we relied on old-fashioned mail to stay in touch with our loved ones back home. We were gone a long time. Years.
By the time we came back to America, I was so happy to share my daughter with everyone. I had been given a huge dose of being separated from my family, VERY separated! While in Germany, there wasn't just a few miles between us, we were oceans apart. I was on another Continent. So, I'm glad my daughter isn't that far away, she is still in Texas, but Texas is a mighty big state and that means my daughter lives five hours away, one-way.
The miles between us can be a challenge and it certainly won't get easier for the young couple to travel once they have a baby, but they have a cute place in their town and it's a good thing they enjoy living there because many things will change once that baby arrives!
I wish I lived closer to my daughter, but that's life. She will be fine, this I know. Something happens to a woman after she has a baby, her ties to her family become strengthened and valued more than ever. Mothers are usually the "glue" of the family and once you become a mother, this role is better understood.
With me, after going through pregnancy and childbirth on the other side of the world and raising my daughter in another country, I began to see the value of family in a new light. I had always loved my family, but I began to really APPRECIATE them, for the people they were.
Also, as your own family grows, you see how challenging it can be to parent perfectly, it's not possible, so give up the idea of perfection before you get started or you will make some sore discoveries. But, there's no doubt that having your own children makes you realize "Hey, I kinda had a great life, with some ups and downs, and I sure hope my own kid will feel like they are having a great life as well." We raise our kids to see those states when our kids will, sooner or later, decide that you stink as a parent, then you'll be the greatest parent, then the worst, then good again. Then, your kids have their own kids one day with the ups and downs being at their feet as the roles are reversed. It makes a parent smile. It's a beautiful world out there!
I think that's a big part of the joy of watching our children have their own children, we get to sit back and watch someone else do all the hard work of raising a child, mainly, that "someone" is our own grown child, the one whom we worked so hard for. It's wonderful to see them carry on the tradition of doing the best with what you have to offer and to see them try to figure out all the things you've already tried to unravel while bringing up your own children.
It will be a challenge to be a mom so far away from the core of her entire family, but Heather has Henry's family to be there for her and that is a blessing. And, depending on our visiting schedules, I will be ready to enjoy the time we get to spend together. I decided to be like my mom, relaxed and know that things will work out as they should. My mom knew I'd need her. Darn it, I did. Better yet, my mom might have still worked, but she made herself available on weekends to run around town with me and my daughters. The four of us had so many wonderful times together.
I'm so glad I grew out of my stupid rebellious, selfish age so that I could fully enjoy and appreciate my mom, even see her as a person and allow the relationship to go both ways. I grew out of the shallow girl I had been with thinking my mom should always be interested in my world, heck, she's a mom...right? I crack up when think about how I realized my mom was a woman, a woman I could talk to about ANYTHING and guess what, it was a two-way relationship, she could talk about ANYTHING with me as well. So, that set us apart, we became true friends because we both decided to be important to each other on a beautiful level of friendship instead of just mother/daughter roles.
I'm hardly able to think about how connected she and I had been, we choose to be that way, we choose to like hearing each other's voice and being able to talk about things with each other that no one else cared to talk about. As my friends slipped away into their own busy lives, my mom had time for me. She understood every stage I was going through, she'd been through them already and had great compassion for me, even words of wisdom that I welcomed.
My concerns became my moms and hers became mine. True friends, beyond a friend, I became to understand that my mother was born to have me and I was born to grow up and to be a woman who actually LIKED her mom. She was my buddy. I'm so glad that my maturity came sooner than most kids, probably because of the level of high responsibility I had to shoulder my entire life growing up. I don't know if this generation grows up half as fast to embrace the emotional maturity as I gained early in age, but I'm hoping. I know my daughters definitely did a lot of growing up, while still very young because I had become very ill.
As my daughter is pregnant with her first child, I start to think more deeply about life. I see my own daughter growing up to be all things "grown" and that includes becoming a parent. I realize that my mother loved me as much as I love my daughter. As for my mom, I will always cherish the relationship I had with my mother. I miss it tremendously. But, I am so glad that I didn't make excuses to miss out on such an amazing opportunity to be an amazing friend with her because those opportunities in life are fleeting. I found that out, personally. My mom left much sooner than I imagined she would. A big hole is there; she meant the world to me. I was her first-born and am thankful for our connection all throughout life.
With my daughter in the midst of her first pregnancy, I can't help but think of how my mother would've loved to have known Heather was expecting a baby; she would have loved to simply lay her adoring eyes on that baby, but I'm sure she'll be watching over us from Heaven.
Once this baby arrives, my own adoring eyes will be as intense as my mother's had been toward her children and grand-children. I will search my grand-baby's face for that connection and PING, it will be a sealed deal. The connection will have been forged.
Grandchildren are very special. A child is a gift that is really not your own. That's the hard part about being a parent. You feel as if that little person belongs to you, but you're actually just their temporary soft spot. Eventually, that child will leave for their own life. Therefore, you realize that you must do right by them. It's a large task.
My daughter had her first ultrasound yesterday and the miracle of a baby growing in her hit home. There's something awe-inspiring about seeing a living being growing in the womb, knowing it is there with you, at all times, so peacefully depending on your body for survival. Watching the screen, seeing the little heart beating...it's weird, but real. There's a baby in there! Today's technology helps you realize that life is much grander than you imagined.
|Me and Heather, she's about three years old.|
As for being a grandma, to be honest, sometimes I feel like a grandma already. My sister's daughter, Shaye, has been such a huge part of my world. My sister was approximately five months pregnant with Shaye when we lost our mother to breast cancer. Shaye was my sister's first child. So, I've tried my best to be more than an aunt...I've tried to also do a lot of the things my mother would have done with Shaye, and it's been a beautiful relationship between me and that kiddo. I've been very blessed. Of course, my sister and I are very connected; she does her best to make sure that me and Shaye get to spend plenty of time together on a regular basis. It's an active relationship on both me and my sister's part. She'll call me and say, "I think Shaye needs some time with her Aunt, can she come for a couple of days?"
Every time I am with that beautiful child, I am filled with joy that can't be expressed. She sits in my lap, curls up and we watch Jungle Book, singing loud and strong. We do art projects together. She reads books to ME. We dance together. And we talk. That girl tells me everything. She unburdens her little heart in ways that are most poignant for a six year old. She knows I listen and that I respect her thoughts and feelings. We are forever bonded. I am thankful to my sister for loving her own child enough to know that a relationship with her aunt and uncle would not only be important for us, but for her own child, so she could have more love in her life. Plus, my sister is smart enough to know that we are the people who will care for her child, with true love and concern, more than most people, and this allows them to actually enjoy getting away for a weekend while Shaye stays with us. It works out beautifully for everyone involved!
But, my firstborn grandchild will be such a delight! I might not be able to see my own grandchild as much as I get to see my niece, Shaye, but I will be connected to that baby right away. A grandbaby...it will be new territory for me! I've already been buying things for the baby and for Heather. Every week, at the store, I buy something else to add to my stash. It's as if my heart is being soothed and put into a place of pure joy at the thought of that baby coming.
Heather and David sharing a sweet hug. There's no doubt that this child
would test our limits, but overall, she brought out the best of us. We're
never finished with learning to be better people, us and her, we're
always striving, but I know that this child was
raised with abundant love and effort so
that she could be a gracious young woman when she left our house.
I do believe we accomplished our goal.
To be honest, we were strong parents, good parents,
understanding parents, involved parents...glitches
happened as they do with ALL parents,
but I hope Heather and Henry do even better than their parents.
Truth is...they'll have their own glitches. That's life.
I'll do my best to help MY baby do the best she can.
We're her supporting cast! Our love will give her and Henry the push
they need, when they need to be strong.
I'll be there to let her sleep as much as she'd like. And I'll do the laundry, the floors and the dishes, plus I'll cook my daughter's favorite meals. I'll hold the baby after my cleaning is done, and Heather will be given a chance to get back on her feet again. By the time I leave her house, I will be exhausted to the bone and Heather will be refreshed and better able to pick up the torch. Even better, by the time I leave, the baby will be close to six weeks old and perhaps ready to sleep through the night. So, I'm hoping I can time my trip as best as I can to unload her burden of being a new mommy.
|Heather and her daddy playing ball in Germany.|
One of their favorite things to do. The little German kids
wanted to come take her ball, but we always bought
he a new one so she could share with them.
|Heather and I probably getting ready for a breast-feeding session.|
I was a major proponent for breast-feeding, doing ALL I could to
give my baby every bit of healthy advantage that she could get!
Pro-active parenting works. My baby was always healthier than
other babies around us. Breast-milk did seem to be the miracle formula!
The largest sorority in the world is Motherhood. Welcome to it my child!
|Heather reading a poem I wrote for her wedding.|
Letting the walls down and allowing for love to come through
without any self-inflicted barriers so that love can be
experienced in its most pure form. I feel the heaviness of
her tears, of knowing her wedding would mean a
completely new way of life----a new way of thinking, and
a commitment on a new level to remain a great distance from
her own family. She's a strong young woman and even
though our family does many things together that she can't
attend, we think of her and know that she is living her life
to the fullest while we city dwellers keep living the city life!
She comes and gets a fix of it every now and then, to calm
down the ancy city girl in her and she then goes back to
the country and is okay for a while. You might take the
girl out of the city, but you can't dim the city lights she
will always keep glowing close to her heart.
Well, I don't know what we will call me once I'm a grandma. My husband and I sat up tonight thinking about it. He pulled up google search to go through a massive list of top names from Grandma and Grandpa. For Grandma, the terms Bunny and Cookie were too much, no thank you. I thought about Mi-Mi. Then, Stefie asked why we don't use the names dubbed for my own grandmother and grandfather, after all, they were unique and cool names that no one else had for their grandparents. I had a Mimmim and a Pucky. Heck, it might be nice to carry on the family tradition of these quirky names.
How about Grandma?
Any suggestions? I'll gladly take recommendations!
So, I'm about to drift off to sleep, hopefully to dream about sweet babies in a field of flowers, happy and ready to be met by their mommies who are fluttering about, playing peek-a-boo and enjoying life's most beautiful moments. But, sooner or later, someone is going to need a major stinky diaper changed!
Dreams never last! Enjoy the good ones while you can.
I feel like I'm living a dream. I pray all goes well with my daughter's pregnancy. She is putting the best of herself out there while knowing every action has a reaction, so she's careful to be the best she can be and to be full of compassion and love, for then she is aligning life to give the same to her child. Being a kind-hearted mother will show her baby how to live in the most heartfelt manner.
My baby is having a baby...