Just Call Me Grandma

By Rose Ann Sinay

Just Call Me Grandma

“When are you two going to have a baby?” I asked my son over the phone, unable to keep from voicing the urgent question in my mind. I had just returned from lunch with my friends. They all had grandchildren – adorable, sweet infants and toddlers. One grandbaby had his grandfather’s eyes; another had her grandmother’s smile. And then there were the twins – twins! I was just asking for one cute, healthy, cuddly, little baby!

“When WE decide, we will let you know,” my son replied with obvious irritation. I backed off, embarrassed. But, not embarrassed enough.

I called my daughter.

“We have two dogs and two cats. That’s all the kids we need right now. Just think of them as your grandchildren. Herbie got all A’s on his doggy daycare report card. Winston needs improvement. There. Does that fill the void a bit?”

No, I thought, but I knew I might have to live with it.

“I’ll send you some new pictures of them.” I could hear the amusement in her voice.

So, I continued to look at and admire my friends’ cell phone pictures and video clips, “oohing” and “aahing” over their pride and joys, wishing I could whip out a photo one of my own.

Finally, one day, the call came from my son and his wife. A baby was on the way. They sent an ultrasound image – the gritty gray screen showed only a body part, but it was beautiful! I couldn’t wait to pull out my cell phone to show the ladies a sneak preview of the gift that was to arrive.

After the initial excitement, a frightening medical problem presented itself. There were months of anxiety, day to day, week to week. We collectively held our breath, afraid to exhale.

Our granddaughter arrived early…and perfect. Ten beautiful fingers and ten beautiful toes. In the words of William Shakespeare (quoted by my daughter-in-law), “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” It became our mantra.

When Addie turned four months old, I flew to Boston to get my baby fix and, of course, as many pictures as I could take. As it turned out, our blue-eyed, red headed wonder was a happy baby, crying only when she was wet, hungry or ready for bed. A cry because of a wet diaper turned to a huge smile the moment she was placed on the changing table. She knew! Have I told you that she is brilliant as well as adorable?

I pushed my son and daughter-in-law out of their house for dinner and a movie. I couldn’t wait to get them out the door so I could have my granddaughter to myself. I tucked her into the nook of my arm and traced her tiny features. She wrapped her hand around my finger and held on tight. I gave her a bottle and told her stories of her daddy as she gazed into my eyes. She stopped sucking from time to time to smile at me, pulling those heartstrings that would tie her to me forever.

My last day with them, I dressed Addie in her cutest outfits and took pictures. I filled my camera with her face from every angle. Leaving her was so hard. How I wished I could see the myriad of changes to come, first hand. On the plane home, I clicked through the pictures over and over again, holding on to that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Now that I had this precious gift, how was I going to nurture our special relationship long distance? I adored her before she made her entrance into this world. How would she get to know her grandfather and grandmother if we only saw each three or four times a year? It made me sad. What were we going to do?

I just received an email, and I can’t wait to open it. My granddaughter’s face will cover the screen. My son sends pictures of Addie on the computer and texts them to our cell phone. I get those coveted videos I have watched on other people’s phones. I could just burst with joy when I hear her giggle, see her crawl, and watch her turn the pages of her favorite books.

We frequently FaceTime so we can see her and, she can see us. She seems to recognize our voices and reaches for the screen as if to touch our faces. We babble back and forth, and we always end our sessions with her smile. The wonders of technology!

I think I have even seen a difference in my daughter’s attitude about babies as she gushes over her only niece. There’s a spark that wasn’t there before. I haven’t given up hope!

And I have joined my friends, cell phone in hand, as we share the most recent photos of our favorite little people. But there are a few pictures with that look in her eyes – the one she had when she was cradled in my arms. I keep those – just for me.

About this writer

  • Rose Ann Sinay Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer typing away in sunny North Carolina. Her articles/stories have been published in The Carolinas Today, The Oddville Press and The Brunswick Beacon.

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6 Responses to “Just Call Me Grandma”

  1. Betsy Bergstrom says:

    You had me missing my grandchildren. They are such a blessing. I am so glad you now have your blessing. Your writing always has a way of taking us to places we have been or want to be.

  2. Diane Q says:

    As always, Rose Ann has me in tears, she always has a way of getting to the “heart” of things. I am blessed to be a grandmother and a great grandmother and Rose Ann has once again nailed that joy!

  3. Your wonderful story raised a lump in my throat. I became a great grandma and can’t believe the love I feel for this little boy. Thank goodness for technology. I am a teacher and everyday at snack time my pre-K class asks to see what he’s up to. He rocks my world.

  4. Tammy Rohlf says:

    Always said that it was up to my kids if they decided to be parents. Well after reading “Just Call Me Grandma” I might have to reconsider! Your way with words captures your joy and gives me something to look forward to!

  5. Mary Ann Crimi says:

    What beautiful words. Every grandma and grandma-to-be can relate. Thank you for sharing your joy. I would write more, but I am busy scrolling through pictures of you know who!

  6. Mary Ann Crimi says:

    Your beautiful essay made me scroll through my own camera pix. My relationships are long distance, too. I miss them, but guess what! They will be here on spring break. Can’t wait!

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