Family, Personal

Grandmothering: Is this what it is?


Since becoming a grandma in May, I keep wondering, “is this what it is?” Is this what all the hype is about?”

Our little Lizzie came on her own time — seven years after her mom and dad decided they wanted to grow their family.

Yes, you read that right — seven years.

Finally, after traveling a long road of infertility with too many disappointments to count, this miracle baby graced our lives a month before she was due — with a triumphant entry at 4 pounds 9 ounces.

After some high drama and unexpected complications, she fought her way into the world and took everyone by surprise, including the doctor.

Lizzie and her devoted daddy

I was lucky enough to have caught a last-minute flight to Arizona from Utah and to be in the delivery room when she was born.

It was an unforgettable experience, one that I’ll forever cherish.

My favorite moment was when the nurse held her up in the delivery room like Rafiki presented Simba atop Pride Rock for everyone to see.

Lizzie’s eyes popped open, and I promise, she looked directly at me. I felt like our eyes locked on each other.

Now, don’t start with all that science about babies not being able to focus immediately after they’re born.

I’m telling you, this baby looked at me.

I saw her open her eyes for the first time and it was nothing short of a miracle.

One minute she was struggling in the womb, and the next, she was announcing her arrival with her sweet, healthy cry — a sound that brought tears to our eyes.

And, just like that, the air changed — like something new and beautiful just entered the universe and everything was different.

There are nearly 400,000 babies born every day which makes it seem so ordinary.

Yet, like other seemingly “ordinary” things, when it happens to you, it’s anything but humdrum and normal.

It’s extraordinary and life-altering.

It’s like it’s never happened before in the history of the world.

That’s how I felt when my daughters were born, and it’s how I felt when I became a grandma.

I remember clearly how I marveled over the miracle of it all after my babies were born, and how I felt a responsibility that I’d never felt.

When I saw that look in Annie’s eyes of being completely smitten and consumed by a love unlike anything she’d ever experienced, I remembered one of my favorite moments with my mom.

I recalled the look in her eyes when she sidled next to me on the couch while I was holding my newborn, Sara.

She asked, “Did you ever think you could love someone so much?”

I shook my head, amazed that I didn’t need time for that love to develop. It was just suddenly there in gargantuan, unfathomable proportion.

“Now, multiply that love by the number of years you’ve been alive, and you’ll have a tiny hint as to how much you’re loved,” she said.

And there it was — a mother’s love, a grandmother’s love — all wrapped up and tied with a bow.

Three generations — grandma, Lizzie, and Lizzie’s mom, also known as Annie

Then, I wondered, “Is this what it’s like to be a grandma — being filled with indescribable love, deep pride, excitement, and complete wonder over the miracle of it all?”

It’s a sweet deal, really, because it’s all the love without all the sleepless nights.

Our lives have changed since she was born.

Lizzie’s blessing day

I jump on Instagram more often, just to make sure I’m not missing a new photo — a shy smile, a new outfit, or the beaming faces of the most adoring parents I’ve ever seen.

When I see a text, I secretly hope it’s more about Lizzie.

I can’t count how many times I’ve watched a four-second video of her smiling.

I mean, it’s such a darling little grin that starts out so small — partly mischievous and partly shy, and then it develops into a full smile that bears watching repeatedly.

I’ve heard plenty about the magic of grandparenting but now that I’m experiencing it, I’m constantly asking myself, “Is this how it is? Is this the magic everyone has described?”

My friend Karen said it best, “It’s the one thing in life that’s not overrated.”

A neighbor said I would soon start referring to Annie and Josh as “Lizzie’s parents.”

I can see that.

I guess this is how it is — the state of being a grandmother.

I think I’ll take it.















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