Tonight or should I say this morning as it is now 1:30 am – I am sitting in the lounge of the labor and delivery room of a Chicago hospital awaiting the delivery of my first grandchild – a girl. Becoming a grandmother for the first time is a blessing and from what I have heard and observed in others the best thing ever! So here I sit with my husband waiting to meet our precious grand-daughter. It’s difficult to wait knowing that something beautiful is happening just around the corner behind closed doors. There isn’t much of anything to do in this waiting room, save for the computer I am writing on right now and a TV that’s playing boring stuff like sports and news. I made a couple of trips the restroom, each time thinking about sneaking past the mysterious doors that serve as a barrier to moderate who enters into the magic arena where new lives begin. I have paced in the hallway,used the vending machine, looked out the windows, tried out a few different chairs and listened to the snoring coming from others who are also anticipating the arrival of a new family member. How can they sleep? My thoughts and emotions are all over the place.
Each time my son, Adam comes out of the delivery room to give us an update – I see visions of him as a child flash through my head. It seems like yesterday that I read bedtime stories to my sweet, curly-haired son while he ate a small box of raisins and drank a glass of milk. Most nights after we read a book or two, we turned on the tape recorder and played a tape of children’s songs (Raffi was popular back then), often singing along. This ritual was pretty full proof in helping him drift off gently to sleep. Now here he is – soon to become a father. He has grown up to be such a wonderful, caring man who no doubt, will be the greatest father ever. I am so proud of him! Will his little girl have raisins & milk, stories and Raffi too? How many of the family traditions and beliefs will he pass along to his children? As a parent, I have little control of how he chooses to live his life. but based on what I have observed thus far, I can trust his judgement. Afterall, he has chosen Dayna, to be his wife.
After what seemed like forever, but in labor terms was pretty quick little Layla Maayan finally arrived. It is 2:20 am 10/22/12 and I am officially a grandma! The wondrous moment is here at last. I get to meet my grandchild who reportedly looks just like her father. I think my husband & I were secretly in a race to see which one of us can get to her first. Even though it didn’t seem like at the starting gate – I got there first! I held in her in my arms and gazed at her beautiful face, which looked nearly identical to the face I saw when I gave birth to my first-born, her father. Again, flashbacks reeled quickly through my head, birthday parties with big bird, school concerts, his passion for music & MTV (starting at about age 3), singing “Hip to Be Square with the band at my sister’s wedding, his rites of passage – bar mitzvah, prom, high school and college graduation, a fantastic wedding and now fatherhood. And then… it came over me, feelings and emotions , that I never expected to have well up in me again – that feeling of unconditional, everlasting love that parents feel when their children are born ! It’s different this time,though, because the extreme love in my heart for my beautiful grandchild will have to experienced from afar. It is my son and daughter in law’s turn to experience all that comes with raising a child. I will be six hours away in Minnesota – holding on to that feeling of everlasting love and longing for the next time I will get to hold her in my arms.
The thought of not being able to see Layla as often as I would like makes me melancholy, but, I realize though, that this is all part of the Olympics of Life? It is what it is. We can’t control the rotations of the sun or the changes of the seasons no matter how hard we try. All we can do is savor each moment of each day. The chorus of one of my favorite songs, The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell does a perfect job of expressing what I am trying to say. With that thought in mind I will get in the car with my husband and head back to Minnesota. I will miss Layla and her parents but I will remind myself often that it is all part of the Olympics of Life and The Circle Game.
“And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came,
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.”
Layla ( from the Eric Clapton song) Maayan is named after her mother Dayna’s father Larry (of blessed memory) and Adam’s Uncle Maynard(of blessed memory). It is a Jewish tradition to name children after a deceased relative.
- The Olympics of Life (abalancingactlifecoaching.com)
- What New Grandparents Need to Know: Ten Suggestions for Grandparents-to-be (http://grandparents.about.com)
- The Essential Grandparent: A Guide to Making a Difference (http://www.enotalone.com)