What Grandparents' day means to me - September 8, 2013

September 8 is Grandparents’ day and while I realize it is a made up “card store” holiday, I am nonetheless extremely gratified and so very grateful to be celebrating this year.  Being a Grandmother is an unexpected pleasure to me, I hadn’t spun my life ahead enough to have it as a long-term goal.  Once it was a desire, I realized that becoming a  Grandma would not be easy.  I am getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you what Grandparents’ day means to me.

My girls are eight years apart so I was a full time hands on Mom for 26 years and considered myself lucky to be one.  As a result I didn’t have a long time with no one home messing up their room.  My youngest was still in High School when some of my friends began to express a yearning to be a Grandma.  I was stunned, I wasn’t even done raising my girls yet and now I was supposed to nag them about getting married and having babies?  I decided that  I would just wait and see what happened.

As it often happens, my oldest did get married and after a while revealed a desire to have children.  I think a lot of people want to get married and just pop up pregnant so there isn’t any angst or delay.  But popping up pregnant didn’t just happen even as other areas of her life lined up in anticipation.  The Master’s degree was completed, the house was bought, the small car traded in for the big car and still the waiting continued.  I kept my own feelings in check as I just wanted to be part of the support system, not a whiny voice wishing for results.

A couple of years went by and then magically, the day came, my daughter was pregnant and I could let my own feelings show freely.  I smiled a lot.  She didn’t want me to tell anyone so I happened upon a near stranger once and told her.  I began to slyly start a file folder of baby sewing ideas and patterns.  I bought some U of I baby clothes.  I drove to Wisconsin to tell a dear friend in person.  The first scary 12 weeks passed and we could tell! Many joyful announcements were made on Facebook and in person.

By this time I was buying fabric and planning quilts.  Colors were selected and after 20 weeks, we found out that our grandchild was actually a granddaughter.  Somehow it just made the loveliness all the more lovely.  I took my daughter shopping for maternity clothes and bought her nice things like my mother had done for me when I was pregnant with my daughter.  My daughter and son in law went joyously to all the appointments, heard heart beats and shared ultra sounds while they tried out names.

One Thursday night E and I were supposed to go to an event together after her first solo doctor visit.  The phone rang right at the time she was due to pick me up.  Only she wasn’t picking me up, she was sobbing. She was being sent to get an ultrasound because they couldn’t hear the baby’s heart beat.  My baby was keening for me and I hadn’t gone with her.  I called my husband and my son in law and we all started crazy driving to get to her in this terrible time.  We arrived before she was called in for the ultra sound, sitting alone in the waiting room with her winter coat pulled around her.  Her husband arrived moments later and they went in to get the horrible news confirmed.  The baby we all already loved was dead.

Two days later, our dear Darcy was delivered.  I had buried a four day old baby boy decades before and that pain was not as horrible as watching my daughter suffer the same way I had.  She did allow me to see and hold Darcy and all I could see was baby and all I felt at that moment was love.  That love showed me not just what a parent loses when a baby dies, but what a grandparent loses as well.  I was sad for me and devastated for my daughter and her husband.

Three months later, my daughter again shared the news that she was pregnant and we all had to take deep breaths and resolve that we could do this together again.  Her husband nicknamed the baby Tough Cookie because she was a fighter, she was going to make it.  Between myself, her husband and my husband we made sure that E was never at an appointment alone.  At 27 weeks, she started having two appointments a week with ultra sounds and a fetal heart stress test.

By 37 weeks, we were all a bit crazed.  I even semi demanded that the doctor just take the baby who had passed every test with flying colors.  I felt we had a healthy baby, let’s just get her out here.  Naturally the doctor did not listen to me but Zara did as she made her appearance 2 weeks early much to the delight and relieved instant love of all involved.

Minutes after her appearance I was able to hold this dear sweet baby in my arms and fall in love with her as I had been so smitten with my own children, maybe more because not only was she making me happy, she was making my daughter happy who had been sad for so very long. And her middle name was my first name, what a poignant statement of love from my daughter.

And I got to sew, quilt and sew some more.  I’ve made her four quilts so far and I’m close to finishing a fifth.  I get to make her bibs, clothes and cute covers.  I get to show how much love I have with my hands and my fabrics.  It’s my favorite way to love someone and here is the quilt she sleeps with every night. modernbabyre

I watched baby Z five days a week after my daughter went back to her teaching job, I spent more time inside with her than I did with my own girls. This semester I watch her three days a week.  My husband and I are loving her and adore being grandparents together, so crazy wonderful because we did not parent young babies together.  We are head over heels in love with her.

It keeps us young to get down on the floor with her but it makes us glad that we are old and don’t have to work full time anymore.  We are having a great love affair again but get to sleep at night.  We have so much to enjoy now and even more to anticipate.

This year, we get to celebrate Grandparents’ day knowing how fragile our chance to do so once was.  We get to love a little life that grabs our glasses and messes up the kitchen and makes us laugh with joy. We are so darn happy and feel so fortunate to celebrate. What Grandparents’ day means to me is that life, once again, is good and full of love and promise.

Now if we can just figure out a way to keep those glasses on our face!

Sew happy!

Want to see other things I sew or how I view sewing and quilting? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation or at get a smile from my quilt memes! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. That’s all, you’re done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Want to see other quilts I’ve made for baby Z?  Just click, click or click!

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at QuiltingSewingCreating@gmail.com

  • Recent posts

  • Monthly Archives

  • Categories

  • Follow on Bloglovin
  • Follow me on Pinterest

    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: