Parenting & Grandparenting

Becoming Grammie

For years I have watched more and more of my friends enter the realm of grandparenthood, becoming Nanas and Mimis and Grandmas and Lollys and Gigis. What at first seemed strange and incomprehensible – because I couldn’t possibly be THAT old – slowly became acceptable, then appealing, then eagerly anticipated, as my middle son and his bride built a life and a business, then added a cute little house and Golden Retriever pup. They talked about someday. I imagined what it would be like to have car seats and cabinet locks and sippy cups in our lives once again.

I have to admit that I have had moments over the last several years when I couldn’t help reading another headline or article about the angry, raging, perverted, conflicted and divided society we live in without feeling – glad? – that I didn’t have grandchildren to worry about. That feeling faded, of course, one day last spring when my son surprised us at a family dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant with an ultrasound picture and the announcement that baby was expected in November 2019. The worry remains to a degree, but has definitely been overshadowed by the excitement of a new baby’s arrival – and not just any new baby, but our FIRST grandchild!

There have been some unexpected things along the way. While my husband and I initially laughed at the idea of attending a “Grandparent Class” after raising 5 children of our own, we discovered after several patient nudges that it was important to our son and daughter-in-law, so we signed up, along with the other set of grandparents. And yes, the class was a good refresher on things like choking and infant CPR, and it did present some helpful advice and information. Best practices do change, and it is important to support the new parents in their efforts and decisions regarding their child. Advice on crib mobiles and bumpers for instance, are different than they were for us 30 years ago. Car seats are much more advanced and elaborate!

I also didn’t expect the “choosing of the Grandma name” to be as difficult as it was. Who knew there were so many possibilities?!

My daughter-in-law’s family threw a couple’s baby shower that included both families and the couple’s friends. Although I offered a second shower, Ryan asked if instead I could set up a Meal Train for the weeks immediately following the birth. This was something that was more needed and appreciated! Be willing to listen to the requests of the new parents and offer your support and help where you can.

Another thing that is “new” is the Gender Reveal. Although it was possible to learn the gender through ultrasound back when we were having children, we chose to be surprised at all five of our births. Now it seems most couples want to know the sex of their baby before it is born, and Gender Reveal Parties are a fun way to share the news with family and friends. Eric and Ryan decided to have a gathering of just their families and let their younger brothers plan how the reveal would happen. That was a somewhat risky choice, in my opinion. But the boys did a great job, giving the parents a prepared deck of cards, with red cards being Girl and black cards being Boy, and they kept a tally on a white board as the cards were flipped one by one.

IT’S A BOY!

Finally November arrived, and we counted down the days til DUE DAY – knowing full well that this was only a suggestion for Baby Bear. Due date came and went, and the little stinker stayed put until the 9th hour, with labor starting the night before Ryan was due to be induced. Grandparents, Aunties, and Uncles were all on pins and needles, and finally Bear arrived, all 9 lbs 4oz of him!

Grammie is so happy you are here!

” Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;”

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