I’ve been recently inducted into the “Gram-Mom” club. I have entered this hallowed group at an advanced age — well not that advanced, but definitely a tad behind my peers. While most of my friends are waving goodbye to their college-bound grandkids, I’m saying hello to diapers and onesies.
Folks, I am a neophyte here. I may need some advice.
Although I have longed for this child of my heart for some time, when Luca arrived two months ago, I wasn’t prepared. I know, I know, I am not making sense.
Truthfully, his birth rocked my world in ways I couldn’t imagine. (Me not imagining something? Impossible, almost!)
The overpowering love I feel is hard to put into words. My son Jeff told his brother, “Glam-mom” (my sister came up with that one) is melting into Luca. My long exhausting trip was rewarded when Jeff placed Luca in my arms. I was speechless — another first! I spent the next hour in stupefied fascination staring down at this little boy. Suddenly there was a magical moment of awareness — there was something familiar about Luca. A strong sense of déjà vu permeated my being and my heart gave way. I burst into grateful tears.
Because Luca lives in northern California in a town called “Happy Camp” (yup, Happy Camp!), it’s no easy trek. I will see Luca less than other gram-moms. Jeff and Cassandra are not thrilled with the situation either, but they gotta make a living. Jeff and Cassandra both work for the Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service. Jeff is the district ranger of the Klamath Mountain region and Cassandra is a wildlife biologist.
Bravo to the “geeks” who made technology possible. If you follow my columns, you know I have a love-hate relationship with technology. However, since Luca’s birth I have completely reversed my thinking: Technology rocks!
Every day, I receive a picture or video, or we do a video chat. I can see Luca’s growth and I’m becoming aware of his nuances. I have acquired a library of 125 pictures of Luca, plus 75 pictures I took while I was visiting. Is it normal to scroll through Luca’s pictures 3 or 4 times a day?
I was sitting in the waiting room at the ophthalmologist office recently. I pulled out my phone and instead of reading The New York Times, I opened my picture gallery and starting viewing videos of Luca. Much to my embarrassment, folks sitting in close proximity began giggling. I was cooing with the video, saying: “Luca you are the best looking baby, ever!” Does this happen to all grand-moms?
I kiss the photographs of Luca that are stored on my cell phone constantly — well, a bit obsessively. I fear my phone will get “wet” and become inoperable. Luca’s photos are backed up in three different places, just to be sure. Help me here: do other grand-moms do this?
You know those picture-carrying, push-the-phone-in-your-face grand-moms? I felt they were over the top. I vowed I would never be one of “them.” OK, I am one of them.
Before convening a meeting, our priest said to the committee members: “Let Ceil show her pictures.” He is very insightful; he knew that I would be twitchy and could not concentrate until I had my fill of the: “What a beautiful baby” accolades.
I subscribed to Amazon Prime for the sole purpose of sending gifts to Luca. I acknowledge, perhaps shamefully, I will spoil him; something I had frowned upon in the past.
For sure, I’m not like my “Grandma Canarsie” (she lived in Canarsie) or Grandma “over here.“ (You guessed it. She lived on Staten Island with us.) They were apron wearing, stationed-by-the-stove cooking-and-baking grandmas of yesteryear.
From my limited experience, I gather that today’s grand-moms are different: Some are the powerful women of a certain age who were the rebels and bra burners. Some joined the woman’s movement, quietly. Some went back to school or returned to the work force. Yet, the grandmas of yesteryear and today have common ground: We are besotted with our grandbabies.
There have been times on my journey when I reached high for the stars of life and caught a few. (After all, our reach should exceed our grasp or what’s a heaven for?) Having Luca in my life is heavenly; catching stars is an everyday occurrence.
I will let you decide whether my behavior is abnormal or not. However, I’ve heard it said that when a grandchild is born, so is a grandmother. And this, folks, can’t be abnormal; it’s the gospel truth.