With Father’s Day just a couple of days away, and Mother’s Day lingering as a sweet memory, I can’t help but share some wonderful news. Anybody that knows me is quite aware of my love of babies and toddlers. I used to be surprised when friends or co-workers would say “of course, we know you love babies”! How could they know? Then I would recall how at work, I “ooo’d” and “aaahhh’d” over an infant in her stroller or my offer to hold a fussy baby for a friend, or babysitting for friends with four kids under 6.
When my son married his sweetheart a few years ago, I promised him I would not be one of those moms who constantly asks when they will start a family. (Secretly I was recalling the times in recent past when I teased him he could hardly remember to brush his teeth, how could he take care of a baby?) In his defense, my son has a gift with kids. He can make them laugh, talk, play anywhere any time. I’ve always known he’d make a great dad.
I kept my promise – well, almost. Just before we moved (a story for another day!), my son came to church with us where we ran into a friend. She mentioned her granddaughter who came to spend Spring Break, then asked when I would be a granny. So I turned to him and said “yeah, I’ve been wondering that myself”. He looked a little perturbed with me and said he couldn’t believe I said that.
Admittedly, I shouldn’t have said it and I was feeling a bit guilty. But it was my one and only slip, so I hoped he would overlook it. Over the next few months the subject was not mentioned – a sigh of relief. Mother’s Day was approaching; our move put a bit of a kink in the plans, especially since the house was still inundated with boxes. My daughter wasn’t going to be able to meet us, but she planned to come up for a four-day weekend on Memorial Day. We decided to meet my son and daughter-in-law halfway, go to mass together then head out to brunch. It was a gorgeous day. We all arrived a little early, talking in the narthex before mass began. I felt a tickle on the back of my leg. Suspecting it was a little one, I turned around and my daughter gave me a hug. She had decided to come anyway, just to surprise me.
We have a family joke about Father’s Day. One year, when my son was about 16, fathers were asked to stand for a blessing. He looked around, started to stand up a couple of times, then sheepishly sat back down. Of course, it elicited the expected laughter. (He didn’t get that from me!) I tell this story to help explain what happened next in church.
Just before the last song and processional, the priest asked for all moms to stand for a blessing. I was sitting next to my daughter-in-law and she stood up with me. I turned to my son, thinking he talked her into pulling an “Eric”. He had this look on his face like: you really aren’t getting this. Then I saw tears in my husband’s and daughter’s eyes. It took much too long for me to realize she was pregnant! Suddenly, I just wanted to holler – instead I clapped a quick tiny clap, squeaked and gave her a big hug! My son was flabbergasted that it took me so long to “get it”. When we went to brunch, he admitted the day I had asked when I was going to be a granny, they already knew about the pregnancy.
I am beyond overjoyed to know we will soon have another member of our family; a new, tiny, innocent, adorable baby. In a world where many couples decide NOT to bring a new life into the world, the faith and optimism my kids are showing is powerful. I’m sure they don’t see it as a courageous decision, but I am so proud of them. It is so much easier to find excuses to avoid having children. Raising a family is hard work. But not to worry, they’ll do a terrific job.
I’ve worked hard to be a good mom, an example to my kids of what a mother should be. I know I’ve made mistakes and probably not apologized as often as necessary. But I pray enough good things remain in their memory that they’ll become not only amazing adults but exceptional parents.
And I can’t begin to explain how excited and grateful I am to be a granny! Now if I can just convince my husband he’s ready to be a grandfather!