I’ve fallen in love, not the kind of love we all think of right off but this is the kind of love that you know will never ever change. It is so perfect no one can possible understand. And that this is maybe the only love that you know will always be perfect because that’s the way you will want it to be.
It all began about 8 months ago when my daughter phoned to tell me that she and her husband were pregnant and would I come for a month when the baby was born.
Let me tell you a little about me. I am type A, hard driven, worked since I was 14 years old, paid for every bit of my PhD and have rarely taken a day off in the past 40 years. Well, the obligatory annual vacation but my work has been my driving force. I have been tremendously successful and made 6 figures for the past decade but quite frankly had never entertained this Grandmother “thing”. When my younger colleagues would bring their babies to the office, I would goo and gaa but always found a way to go back into my office with the appropriate appreciation of this new being.
So, when my daughter made this request, I was aghast. Not only did I have lucrative and fulfilling career but I had not held baby since she was one, 35 years ago. So, I just sort of told her that I would see what I could do with really no plan of spending a month with an infant of which I had no connection nor ability to assist.
I can’t really explain how it happened but my work was less important, all of my major projects had been completed, I had a new leader and just wasn’t as satisfied as I’d always been at my work. I sat down with my husband and what a shock, if I wanted to leave full time employment, we would be fine financially.
So, I began my month long journey to Colorado to help with this baby of whom I had no attachment nor did I feel was equipped with any skills to assist. But after all, I could assist my daughter in whatever manner she chose and surely she knew what she was doing.
After 20 hours of arduous labor my daughter was sent down the hall for an emergency C section. Following her by about 5 minutes were her husband and myself to observe this event. After he threw up before we left the room, we found ourselves in a small antiseptic room and within moments a very small 6 pounds 4 ounces baby boy. When the Pediatric Nurse handed him to me, I truly thought I had no idea what does he expect me to do this with this little bitty being, but somehow I did. This first moment was bitter sweet as my daughter still lay on the OR table being sutured. The whole time this little baby just lay in my arms with just little itsy bitsy beautiful noises coming from his perfectly shaped mouth.
So, we began this month long journey with this brand new baby. As a lifelong learner, I had read everything possible on the internet, watched every relevant you tube regarding the first month of babies and felt somewhat prepared to begin. I quickly acclimated to feeding him, changing his diapers and most importantly just holding him in my arms for hours. The days turned into weeks and more quickly than possible, it was time for me to go home.
The day I had to leave, I held him close to me, memorized his smell, the way his fuzzy head felt on my cheeks, the feel of his tiny feet within my hands, how his arms felt flung over my shoulders and hearing his whisper of breath in my ears. So all these years of making fun of those silly grandmas is over, I am officially one and feel an insurmountable of pleasure with this status. By the way, call me Grammy.
Kate Q. Tandy, Ph.D. is a semi retired Organizational Psychologist who is currently consulting. Learn more about her at drkateqtandy.com