The season has arrived. The mailman is cramming the mailboxes with catalogs and flyers, announcing spectacular sales. The mall periodically plays Christmas carols over the loud speakers, hoping to keep shoppers in the spending mood; and I occasionally find myself watching an old movie about the joys of giving. I like the ones where the opening scene consists of two children listening to an old woman telling a story of her younger years; and I imagine myself in that role. I expect that day will soon arrive, where I will fascinate my grandchildren with tales from my past that seem to fit with any occasion. I visualize my grand and great grandchildren draped around me as I recall old memories, just as my great grandmother did with me. While the subject matter of this blog is centered on my grandchildren, the chronicles of a grandmother are the underlying theme. As such, I will try to keep the stories in chronological order, as not to confuse my readers. So in light of the holiday spirit, my first story will begin with the announcement of my first grandchild.
It was around this time of the year, four years ago, that my daughter called with a special announcement. I knew that she and her husband were trying, so I was secretly hoping to hear something soon. I say secretly because I never let on to my children just how much I wanted to be a grandmother. More than anything else, I wanted my children to mentally develop through traditional experiences such as school, graduation, and college or single life experiences before settling down with children. So when my daughter would ask if I was ready to be a grandmother, I always replied, “I’m ready to be a grandmother when you’re ready to be a mother.” Secretly, however, I wanted grandchildren.
”You see, as far as I can remember, I wanted to be a grandmother, probably before I wanted to be a mother. In fact, whenever my husband talks about innate characteristics, he often says that “while most girls are born to be mothers, Sandie was born to be a grandmother.” That’s most likely because my great grandmother and I shared a special relationship, which isn’t surprising because she had a special relationship with all children. She was the most kind, and I wanted to be just like her, only more physically active. After she died, I wondered how our relationship would have change, had she been my younger grandmother instead of my older great grandmother. Then I visualized my older self in that role. The grandmother that I want to be is founded on that image. But let’s get back to the story.
“I have a surprise for you,” Autumn said with her voice hitting a higher note as she spoke each word.
Now if Hallmark was telling this story, vehicles, fence posts, and rooftops would be saturated in five inches of “pure undriven snow”; the sunlight would glisten rainbow colors as its reflection bounced against the frozen yard; icicles would dangle from the window ceils while snowflake designs would be sandblasted into the glass; and I would be wrapped in a tattered shawl as I stirred the embers in the fireplace. But living in the deep country of Southeast Texas (code: swamp land), vehicles, doorjambs, and sidewalks are guarded by tan and black mosquitoes; brown and rusted leaves lightly blanket the green grass; and spackles of dirt are pressed against the glass because I don’t do windows. Did I mention that the fireplace is a decorative piece?
So I don’t have that magical scene that best describes how the universe ran in perfect harmony on the day that I learned that I was an expecting grandmother. Nor could I tell you whether it was in November or December that my daughter first told me the spectacular news. I just know that it was approaching wintertime because I had just finished complaining that the mosquitoes in Southeast Texas don’t hibernate, they just wear jackets. I can however, tell you that the moment she confirmed the pregnancy, my entire world changed; the universe seemed to move in perfect harmony; and life became a magical adventure. Everything was picture-perfect, even though the environment would suggest otherwise.