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LAce Posted Monday, September 29th, 2003
I’m here for the ride Grammy vs. Mommy
Benjie O'Connell

It is, as I’d heard. From the first day of her arrival, I felt a tug at my heart as only a new love can bring. For the first hour I wanted to examine each part of her, trying to see a resemblance to someone in the family. She did have, I was convinced, one of my daughter’s most distinctive and attractive qualities, ample, deeply colored lips that rose in two definitive points. Then for the next couple of weeks I was intrigued by her every movement, wondering if each position was the one which she most enjoyed in the womb. After a while I was just content to stare and take in every change in her expression. Now after three months, as my daughter put it over the phone, “She’s gone interactive.” Saying a few words directly to her can produce a smile that can no longer be attributed to random gas. Cooing to her in the beginning caused an echolalic effect, which has now changed into her own sounds which are more sophisticated that those first antennae like sounds of a newborn. We have conversations “of sorts” for the addicted “grammy.” At the end of an afternoon, it is hard to figure which one of is more tired.

I feel like a voyeur. I spend hours, days, weeks watching my daughter adjust to her starring role as MOM. She had a rough beginning. It will be most remembered as painful -- an epidural headache following the birth, a breast infection from nursing, and and somewhere around zero sleep. Yet my daughter is willful, brave, and, once a certain line is crossed, sports the stubborn determination of a linebacker. After the eight-week endurance test, she made the cut. The loving way in which she held her baby to nurse despite the pain to herself was something I won’t soon forget, as will be the sheer visceral pleasure she gets from talking and reading to her. Her careful, cautious hands used to bathe her baby decorate my memory like a Renior in some museum. She preens her with the same care as the pickiest of primates; triple checks the new bundle before every venture outside the cocoon. With everything it takes to carry on for the next eighteen years, she’s my hero and a natural! As for me, I feel a little bit relieved that she is the one with the eighteen years in front of her. I’m here for the ride.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Burnley Hayes on Monday, September 29th, 2003 at 1:08 PM
A sweet description of a mother's love in transition.

Posted by Terrence Templeton on Monday, September 29th, 2003 at 3:47 PM
echolalia: an infant's repetition of the sounds made by others, a normal occurrence in childhood development.
Whew - glad it's normal!

Posted by Kay Fracher [ ] on Monday, September 29th, 2003 at 4:35 PM
What a wonderful tribute to both granddaughter and daughter. Would Benjie be interested in adopting this 55 year old?!

Posted by Salome Homeyer on Tuesday, May 10th, 2005 at 12:58 PM
Lovely! I too am called "Grammy" by my grandkids and can relate to all the voyeuristic activities relayed in this piece. I've gone throught the "grammy" thing twice with my daughter and look forward with great anticipation to my son producing my third....

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