Becoming a Grandmother

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Becoming a Grandmother

I suppose everyone remembers defining moments in their lives – those moments that change their lives in some way. For some it may be achieving a dream, getting a promotion, buying their first home or finding love along the way. For me, a profound moment occurred when I learned that I was to become a grandmother. I was the woman who had declared time and again, “I’m too young to be a grandmother.” Then I noticed that many women of my generation are already great-grandmothers – so much for that theory.

On a recent visit to my adult son and daughter-in-law, my husband and I met their newly adopted puppy, Zoie, whom I deemed my “grand” dog. I thought the “grand” dog might be it. I wasn’t sure they would have children. Both are talented teachers working in school systems that they find challenging and rewarding. We were there to celebrate Derek’s forty-first birthday. He is somewhat a late bloomer by some standards – graduate student at thirty-six, married at thirty-eight, first home at thirty-nine and unbeknownst to me at the time, a father at forty-one.

We arrived after a six hour drive, late in the afternoon, and had a lovely dinner prepared by our daughter-in-law, Gladys. Even before the dishes were cleared, she started bringing gifts for Derek to open. That should have been my first clue. Something was up. I insisted that we clear the dishes, and then we went through the rigmarole of lighting the candle on the cake, a candle that also played the Happy Birthday song, so we didn’t feel the need to also sing it. The first gift he selected looked suspicious. It was a small box wrapped in “baby” paper with little giraffes and elephants frolicking on the pink, blue and green background. I thought it must be a “gag” gift. I was totally duped! He carefully unwrapped the paper to reveal a pregnancy test kit. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing, as I had never seen a pregnancy test kit before. When I was pregnant we had to wait for the rabbit to die to know for sure. He opened the box and removed the test strip container, examined it, then announced it showed two stripes indicating pregnancy.

That did it. I almost upset the table, jumping up from my chair and rushing around to hug Gladys while screaming at the top of my lungs. They stared at me as I danced around the table, high fiving and hugging them. When I settled down, they showed me that they had two tests, both confirming pregnancy. The manufacturer claims that the product is 99% accurate, so even though they have not been to the doctor yet, it is 99% sure.

Then, we sorted out all the details. When is the baby due? February. When will they do an ultrasound, and do they want to know the sex of the child? Not sure when but yes, they do want to know the gender. How does Gladys feel? Wonderful, no morning sickness as of yet. The next day we placed calls to her family in the Philippines and to my sister who will tell everyone else. I began searching the Internet to locate knitting patterns for booties, hats, blankets, etc., sending emails to all my friends and acting like I was the first grandmother of all time. One friend said they were expecting their tenth grandchild, another said they just had their fourth, so they think I am lagging behind. Nevertheless, I believe none of them could be more excited about this forthcoming event than me. It just could not be possible.

Now, I want to move closer to Derek, Gladys and the new baby, so that I can witness many of the defining moments in the baby’s life including: sitting up, crawling, the first words, going to school, playing soccer. I want to share in the wonderment of the world as seen through the eyes of a child. I want to take him/her to Disney World, visit the museum and spend time in the park playing on the swings, digging in the sandbox, looking for bugs (if it is a boy), having tea parties (if it is a girl) and counting the stars at night. My life has changed in a most delightful way. I have concluded that one is never too young to be a grandmother.

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  • I suppose everyone remembers defining moments in their lives – those moments that change their lives in some way. For some it may be achieving a dream, getting a promotion, buying their first home or finding love along the way. For me, a profound moment occurred when I learned that I was to become a grandmother. I was the woman who had declared time and again, “I’m too young to be a grandmother.” Then I noticed that many women of my generation are already great-grandmothers – so much for that theory.

    On a recent visit to my adult son and daughter-in-law, my husband and I met their newly adopted puppy, Zoie, whom I deemed my “grand” dog. I thought the “grand” dog might be it. I wasn’t sure they would have children. Both are talented teachers working in school systems that they find challenging and rewarding. We were there to celebrate Derek’s forty-first birthday. He is somewhat a late bloomer by some standards – graduate student at thirty-six, married at thirty-eight, first home at thirty-nine and unbeknownst to me at the time, a father at forty-one.

    We arrived after a six hour drive, late in the afternoon, and had a lovely dinner prepared by our daughter-in-law, Gladys. Even before the dishes were cleared, she started bringing gifts for Derek to open. That should have been my first clue. Something was up. I insisted that we clear the dishes, and then we went through the rigmarole of lighting the candle on the cake, a candle that also played the Happy Birthday song, so we didn’t feel the need to also sing it. The first gift he selected looked suspicious. It was a small box wrapped in “baby” paper with little giraffes and elephants frolicking on the pink, blue and green background. I thought it must be a “gag” gift. I was totally duped! He carefully unwrapped the paper to reveal a pregnancy test kit. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing, as I had never seen a pregnancy test kit before. When I was pregnant we had to wait for the rabbit to die to know for sure. He opened the box and removed the test strip container, examined it, then announced it showed two stripes indicating pregnancy.

    That did it. I almost upset the table, jumping up from my chair and rushing around to hug Gladys while screaming at the top of my lungs. They stared at me as I danced around the table, high fiving and hugging them. When I settled down, they showed me that they had two tests, both confirming pregnancy. The manufacturer claims that the product is 99% accurate, so even though they have not been to the doctor yet, it is 99% sure.

    Then, we sorted out all the details. When is the baby due? February. When will they do an ultrasound, and do they want to know the sex of the child? Not sure when but yes, they do want to know the gender. How does Gladys feel? Wonderful, no morning sickness as of yet. The next day we placed calls to her family in the Philippines and to my sister who will tell everyone else. I began searching the Internet to locate knitting patterns for booties, hats, blankets, etc., sending emails to all my friends and acting like I was the first grandmother of all time. One friend said they were expecting their tenth grandchild, another said they just had their fourth, so they think I am lagging behind. Nevertheless, I believe none of them could be more excited about this forthcoming event than me. It just could not be possible.

    Now, I want to move closer to Derek, Gladys and the new baby, so that I can witness many of the defining moments in the baby’s life including: sitting up, crawling, the first words, going to school, playing soccer. I want to share in the wonderment of the world as seen through the eyes of a child. I want to take him/her to Disney World, visit the museum and spend time in the park playing on the swings, digging in the sandbox, looking for bugs (if it is a boy), having tea parties (if it is a girl) and counting the stars at night. My life has changed in a most delightful way. I have concluded that one is never too young to be a grandmother.

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5 Responses to “Becoming a Grandmother”

  1. Gladys says:

    Beautifully written article! I really enjoyed reading the story, and reminisching the day when we had to reveal the big news to you. :-)

  2. Estela says:

    You almost got me teary eyed Grandmommy Linda reading your story! :-) Congratulations,too for having this great moment of your life. I’m very happy for my friends Gladys and Derek about the baby and also about you. :-)

  3. Nerissa says:

    Sprightly! An article written with love and inspiration. It was indeed a defining moment for all of us here in the Philippines. This will not be the first time that I will become a Tita (Aunt) but this is a moment that my only sister will have her first baby and the thought brings joy to all of us, especially me. So happy for Derek, Gladys and the new baby. Congratulations Ms. Linda you’ll surely be a wonderful Lola (Grandmom) to the baby.

  4. Neil says:

    I am the other half of “we.” It was my great thrill and privilege to be sitting next to Linda when this happened.

  5. Lori says:

    Loved your “grandmother” story. I was so excited when my 1st Racheal arrived Oct 1, 1984. She’s getting married this coming Jan 16 in Manhattan, Ks. Thru college & all grown up, it is soooooo wonderful. after 3 more in Wendy’s family (last 2 boys in college now) then Justin came along on my birthday July 28 1997. Also, Vickies dad’s bday. That was a triple thrill.

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