It all started with a text message. Well, actually is was a simple emoji. The emoji of water … 💦. Without hesitation I typed back. “Water broke????” The response was a thumbs up. I smiled broadly. Our first grandchild was on his way into the world a day early.
The nine-month long pregnancy of my daughter-by-marriage passed fairly uneventfully….well, uneventfully for me. I didn’t suffer from any morning sickness; only a few hangovers. I didn’t experience significant weight gain; only a few pounds as a result of stress-eating. My exercise regimen wasn’t adversely impacted; thankfully I don’t really have one. My wardrobe wasn’t a problem; I wear a lot of sweats and yoga pants these days. But, strangely enough, I did exhibit “nesting” tendencies in the last month; cleaning out cabinets and drawers that needed reorganizing anyway.
But now that the impending event was near, I tossed and turned all night. Every two hours I checked the phone for a call or message. I tried to imagine what was happening in the Chicago hospital where the father- and mother-to-be were admitted and reviewing their Lamaze instructions. I lay awake reliving my own experience of giving birth thirty years ago. I prayed for an easier and quicker delivery than I had…along with a healthy baby. I was nervous and sweaty. So much could happen, I worried; so much could go wrong. I hoped my grandfather was in heaven negotiating with God on our behalf, as a naming opportunity was in it for him. Eventually I fell into a brief restless sleep.
Then, as soon as my eyes opened and focused again, a text message announced the February 12tharrival of our next generation at 6:17am EST. I breathed a sigh of relief. Word came that all was well. From that moment, I knew life had taken a new turn; never to be the same again. The Crown Prince was born.
Like the child who didn’t ask to be born, I did not ask (or nag or beg) to become a grandmother. I was not sitting around just waiting to take on a new role or become a different person. I was busy enough trying to excel in the roles I currently have and being the best version of this self. And yet….
I cannot wait to be this little one’s Bubbie!
Seeing my grandson for the first time, even just on FaceTime, I now realize that I’ve been preparing for this moment for years. I’ve been silently scrutinizing and judging all grandparent-grandchild relationships I’ve encountered. I’ve witnessed ones that are wonderful. I’ve experienced ones that require improvement. I’ve made mental notes and jotted down ideas on how to “do it better.”
And now, at the end of the day, my new job is crystal clear. It’s all about intentionality. As a grandparent, I have the luxury of avoiding the nitty-gritty and mundane day-to-day stuff. I can be the fun one. The travel buddy. A place of escape. I get to represent and stand for things that truly matter. I can contribute to the creation of a solid family foundation that enables love, trust, understanding, and respect to flourish.
Bottom line? Being intentional means being deliberate and purposeful. It involves listening and demonstrating that you care. It’s about staying in touch. And, it’s about showing up.
Ryan Isaac, I love you! Now, get ready. Bubbie is on her way!!!