Back in September I got a call from my then 20 yr old son (only 8 days from 21) who was deployed to Kuwait while serving in the Army Reserve. It was September 20. How do I remember....because it was 4 days before my 40th birthday. The call left me stunned, shocked and my head spinning. My son's girlfriend of a little over 2 years was pregnant. This is not what a woman that is about to turn 40 wants to hear. Turning 40 in itself brings so many thoughts & emotions. Mind you that 39 was a terrible year of my life & I was ready to say goodbye to it. In my mind, I had already declared 40 would be better. I thought to myself, this is not what I had in mind & I told my son that this was not the birthday present I was hoping for. Fast forward, I reached out to the Colonel's wife for help with the situation knowing that my son & his girlfriend wanted to get married so that they could utilize the military insurance my son was getting because he was deployed. November 10th I gained a daughter-in-law in very small & intimate ceremony at our church when my son came home for a 2 week leave from Kuwait. Still having mixed emotions, I muddle through things, mostly realizing that my son was now a man, with a wife & baby on the way. No longer my baby, no longer needing me to mother him but just be his mother & allow him to live his own life. As I have learned, it is very difficult with the first child that leaves the nest. It gets slightly easier as the next one grows up...I said SLIGHTLY! We were blessed by the fact that my son's deployment was cut short & he came home much earlier than expected. We have enjoyed having him back in the states & close to our home. I found myself becoming more excited about the arrival of a granddaughter. Mind you...I have a 7 1/2 yr old too! As the due date approached, I really began to embrace the idea of being a grandmother....I am Gigi though...not grandma. I have a first grader for crying out loud....when I envision grandma, I envision my own. She was what a grandma typically is...a sweet & fun little old lady who showers you with love & shares all of her knowledge of the world, good & bad, but mostly fun! I may be sweet, but 40 is not a little old lady, unless you ask my 7 yr old.
The evening of May 23, a call came. My daughter-in-law was in labor. The baby was coming...this was my daughter-in-law's actual due date. How often does that happen? I arrived at the hospital with my daughter around 3:30 on May 24 after getting a call from my son saying she would begin pushing at 3 (this was the time my daughter's field day would end too & I happened to be off work attending it)...expecting to get there after the baby was born. I arrived to find my daughter-in-law in labor still...still pushing. At first I thought, no big deal. But then the hours went on. I knew my daughter-in-law was exhausted...as most mothers are when they are in labor. At 8 p.m. the decision was made that a C-Section was necessary. My granddaughter was born at 8:15, however, we knew nothing until about 9 p.m. when a nurse came out & said that the baby was here and that was it. About 10 minutes later (but it seemed like an hour) my son emerged with a smile on his face to tell us that his daughter was perfect & beautiful & my daughter-in-law was beyond exhausted but doing well. Close to 9:30 we got to see sweet Evelynn Jade for the first time. I looked at that precious little extension of my son and of me and I fell head over heals in love with her at that exact moment. At that moment, I became a grandma without the little old lady. Knowing that I would love & adore her, do my best to protect and care for her, to share with her all things that grandmas are supposed to...although...I stick with Gigi and know that she'll be able to say that much sooner than grandma. I have embraced my 2nd new role within a year...first mother-in-law, now grandma & I am loving it!
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8 years ago