I have become a grandmother, (!!!!!) and I am just as proud as I can be. Typical of everything 2020 though, it has been a roller coaster ride. Within the first few months of the pregnancy, doctors realized the baby was not gaining weight along the regular schedule. There was a diagnosis of Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR), and my daughter-in-law was admitted to hospital around the 4-month mark.
Baby Quinn was delivered in the 34th week at just 2 pounds 12 ounces. I had never seen such a small baby.
In a non-pandemic world, I would have posted myself at the neonatal ICU window and marveled at this small wonder of life for as long as they would let me stand there. Instead, I’ve been researching how to be the best grandma I can be in a post-pandemic world.
A good grandmother knows how to make her grandchildren feel special while teaching them a thing or two about the world. She also can provide a different role than the grandchild’s parents and doesn’t overstep her bounds. The trick to being a good grandmother lies in bonding with your grandchild while developing a fun-loving, dynamic relationship that involves lots of warmth, care, and love. WikiHow
Expert grandparents say we should teach our grandkids the things parents don’t have time to teach, to let them see us in our everyday environment, teach them the family’s history, our world’s history, tell them about our life before we were grandparents and what we’ve learned along the way. And lest the relationship become one-sided and fizzle out, we’re encouraged to let them teach us something too. Bottom line, we should focus on being a part of their life.
I dream of taking her for long walks through every garden in town, including my own. We’ll practice naming the plants and looking for insects. We’ll make regular trips to the track to see if she enjoys sprinting more than I did. And I’ll take her to the starting line of a marathon to witness the nervous excitement of the runners, and to hear the bullhorn that sends them dashing off. We’ll follow them along the course so she can see what it looks like when the going gets tough, and to the finish line where she can see that pride outweighs exhaustion. Then she can tag along on my slower daily walks to understand how fitness is a lifelong journey.
I’ll introduce her to music to see if she has the voice of an angel like my sister, if she will play the piano like my mom and I, or maybe she’ll chart her own musical course. She might be the world’s best tuba player for all we know. My husband is great we kids and they love him immediately. I can picture him reading her a book, or the two of them laughing hilariously together over their own little joke. There’s a million fun ways to spend the day.
Then reality set in. I am the only grandparent that doesn’t live in the same city. My grandparenting would take place from 14 hours away. How often would we even see her? My husband had an answer for that. We would find a little place there, 14 hours away, so we can visit as often and for as long as we want.
So, if someone has been casting bets as to whether we would really never renovate another house after our very-last-definitely-never-another-renovation, the answer is here. There is yet one more home renovation in our lives….. a grandma house.
Supplemental oxygen is no longer needed, she weighs almost 5 pounds, and she’s going home this weekend! It’s an exciting new world.