When my friends first learned I was going to be a ‘grandmaw,’ some of them guffawed at me, as if my freedom, feistiness, and femaleness would soon be out the window. After all, what does a grandmother do but bake cookies, babysit and bring out the photos of her grandbabies too often?
In protest, a month before my first grandbabe was born, I participated in a 10k run and my guy and I flew off to Italy to share a villa with friends. No old biddy waiting for grandchildren was I!
And then my daughter went into labor, calling me at 11:04 p.m. to let me know she was on the way to the hospital. Her husband texted me every hour at first with updates. My guy groaned when the phone beeped at my pillow at 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. and so forth. By 8 a.m. no progress, and as the sun grew high in the sky, I became a crazed aged terrified old woman. I walked the woods around our house like a crone startling the wild kingdom, tearing my graying hair out by the roots.
WHY WAS IT TAKING SO LONG?
I called my good friend the minister, who hadn’t ministered to me in years and now lived thousands of miles away, begging him to pray for my daughter and as yet unborn grandchild. He soothed me as my feet crunched on wooded moss and dead leaves and assured me that all would be well.
I didn’t believe him.
So despite my daughter’s wishes, I made my man drive us to the hospital so we could pace in the waiting room. The receptionist assured me (five times) that my daughter was in the labor room. My son-in-law had last texted an hour ago that she’d been pushing for four hours. I wanted to MURDER the doctor who let her (and my grandbaby) go through this ordeal.
My guy gathered me in my arms every so often and whispered ‘reeeelaxxxxx,’ but I couldn’t.
Was this what being a grandmother meant? Good lord, if I’d known, I would have handed better birth control to my children as soon as they hit reproductive age.
My cell phone bleeped – a text! Wait, it wasn’t from my son-in-law. The text was from the 29-year-old son of a friend who lived across the country, who was also a friend of my daughter. The text read:
I texted back and said, “No baby yet.”
He replied via text, “Um, according to your son-in-law there is.”
No other message was on my cell phone. I stalked the receptionist, who suddenly was terribly busy and ignored me.
My guy told me to SIT DOWN.
And three minutes later, our son-in-law walked out to us, zombie-like, and collapsed in my arms, crying while exclaiming: “Everything is perfect!”
I started crying too, of course, instantly forgiving him for sending out a group text a second after the birth, but not realizing that my cell number wasn’t included.
Because at that moment, as I became a grandmother, everything was perfect.