Thursday, July 25, 2013

Becoming Grandma!

(Posted on Geezer Guys and Gals on July 24, 2013, but wanted to share it here too.)

In one month, I will become a GRANDMA! We are so excited to see this baby's arrival.

I have two sons and four nephews. My husband is one of three sons. His father, one of 2 sons. The Tatums have only had sons since the Civil War (my husband's cousin Susan was a rare exception). However, in the current generation one of my nephews has three GIRLS. AMAZING! So when my youngest and his wife announced their pregnancy, we all wondered if the girls would continue.

When each of my sons was born, my mother-in-law would say, "What else?" I loved my sons, don't get me wrong, but I so wanted a girl to sew for. I did sew for my sons, but it's not quite as thrilling. Part of me also wanted to prove that having a girl in this family was possible. So when my first great niece was born, I was thrilled. When the second great niece was born, I knitted them each a purple sweater. When the third was born, I was simply delighted with such a beautiful family of girls.

What does this "Becoming Grandma" mean to me? Both my sons and daughters-in-law have been trying to conceive. Our youngest and his wife miscarried in October before this pregnancy came to be. My oldest son and daughter-in-law are walking the path of infertility. So some of "becoming a grandma" has involved grief for the child lost and for the child so greatly desired. There's also grief for the strain in relationship between my sons as "having a baby" has overshadowed both their lives. As only a bystander in this process of conception, becoming grandma is joy at what is to come and the hope for a child yet unrealized.

When it came time to peek into the womb, we were anxious to know the sex of the child. The sonogram answered our questions: It's a boy! Of course, we would have been thrilled with either a boy or a girl, but I found a strange excitement mixed with calm about having another little boy.

Yes, I have knitted a baby blanket in a color combination called grape jam. That purply color seems all too appropriate for a toddler dragging it behind him.

Many friends extol the joys of grandparenthood with wallets of pictures, with pins & tee shirts proclaiming grandparent status, and with a myriad of stories of the cutest things their grandchildren have done. I happily await that day when this boychild is gathered into my arms. I know I will feel the thankfulness, pride, and joy of his parents, but I also anticipate the warmth of this baby and the inexplicable deja vu of holding my own sons. The memories from the past will flood back to being a mom, dedicating them to God, watching them learn so many things including the stories of Jesus, and helping them navigate education, marriage, and adulthood.

I'll also have the privilege of looking into his face and seeing the future.