For quite a few years now, mum has been yearning to be a great-grandmother. I have a friend who has five grandchildren. Our families knew each other when we were growing up so mum knows my friend well, and she adopted these grand-kids as surrogate great-grandchildren … failing the appearance of any of her own.
Then, earlier this year, my niece became pregnant. Mum was thrilled but ever since then she’s been anxious. She’s told me several times that she doesn’t mind dying but she would like to live long enough to see the new baby. And now the baby, a little girl, has obligingly arrived three weeks early, thus cutting mum’s anxious waiting time short.
Well, it’s true she hasn’t actually seen the baby yet in real life. But she has seen photos that my niece kindly emailed. Being three weeks early, the baby is still very tiny and as yet in the prem unit at the local hospital. But, fingers crossed, mother and baby are both doing well.
I’ve already caught mum several times looking at herself in the mirror and telling herself ‘you are a great-grandmother.’ So I guess it’s a wonderful thing for her to have achieved. It must be frustrating, waiting for other people to provide her with what she wanted so much! But now, I wonder what she’ll have to look forward to. A visit from the baby I suppose. At nearly 3 hours drive away, it will be a while before that happens, though I guess it will eventually.
It’s interesting too that mum never once forgot the baby has arrived. And 90% of the time she remembers its first name – although she is still struggling with the surname. ‘Where does that name come from?’ she puzzles. ‘From the baby’s dad?’ I gently suggest.