Ten days ago I became a grandmother. Today I will meet my first grandchild, Clara Mae.
For several years friends have been saying, “I bet you can’t wait to be a grandmother.” I have to admit a recurrent cringe at this comment. I have loved the carefree adult relationship I have had with my son and daughter-in-law.
As a woman in my early twenties, I often heard the question. “When are you going to have a baby?” Call it weird, but I was not one of those teen-aged girls who loved babysitting and couldn’t wait to be a mother. Holding a fully-inflated basketball was far more interesting to me than holding a ten-pound person in a onesie. My slow journey into motherhood was the result of an evolving relationship with my husband and our longing to expand the circle of our love to include children.
I may be by nature “baby-gushing challenged.” I don’t see a baby and instantly go into what my friend Sharon calls “cheek-munching” mode. I watch grandparents who spend every second of their vacation visiting their grandchildren and the rest of the time hauling out their brief-case sized photo wallets full of baby pictures. I see this besotted behavior, and I get scared. Will I too become a bonafide member of the grandparent cult?
Only twelve hours and thirteen minutes until I hop a plane to meet my granddaughter. Against my will, I have to admit a growing excitement. When I look at the pictures of my son holding newborn Clara, I see a young man hopelessly in love. And I remember how crazy in love I was with the tiny baby who has just become a father.