A little over a week ago, actually.
And though we'd been waiting, watching for signs, jumping at clues, suggesting activities to move the baby along, she was not running late. Born only a day after her due date, she was right on time.
She showed up - after mom and dad rushed to the hospital with me in the back, I parked the car, decisions were made and birth plans were adjusted, sleep was had and then the work of labor was done - exactly on time.
I was there, but one step removed. Remote.
After all, I'm not mom, or dad, or baby. I am grandma.
The role is assistive, available, a little bit removed and remote.
This birth is - for me - granddaughter number three. So it should be old hat by now.
But - ah, you see - it is baby number one for my second oldest son. Also, for his wonderful wife. So it is new, again.
Being with my oldest son during his wife's labor meant being with my oldest son.
Being with my second oldest son meant being with him.
They are different men. Our relationships are different. Their wives are different.
But - oh, my! - it was wonderful again!
I am indeed grateful and humbled by the invitations to attend.
My second oldest son is protective. Hyper aware of my presence and my habit of saying something cheesy or lovey or unfiltered, he was initially tense.
But I promised to remain remote. To be there quietly and kindly, available and loving, while he coached his wife and assisted in the delivery.
I saw him visibly relax. Not entirely, but visibly. He put me away, remote in his mind. He held his wife's hand, he wiped her forehead, he gave her air.
I watched, so very involved in my heart but carefully and correctly removed.
He held his wife's leg and urged her with praise.
A child arrived. His daughter was born. Their daughter was born.
My granddaughter was born.
She cried, she was perfect, they rushed her away for a quick evaluation.
My son looked deeply at his wife, she caressed his cheek, he looked over to where his daughter cried, his wife gave him permission to leave her side and join their daughter.
I watched. Remote, but so very much there.
The doctor and nurses congratulated everyone, while my son beamed. His daughter is perfect, his wife is recovering. He cut what was left of the umbilical cord and they brought the baby to her mom for a feeding.
as I watched,
his wife held their daughter,
my son leaned over his family,
tears streamed down his nose onto his loved ones,
his wife reached one arm to his wet face, leaving the other wrapped around the baby, and wiped him lovingly.
I watched, remote, a small trickle of my own tears were wiped away by me alone.
After an hour of my son holding her, his wife feeding and holding her, the family holding and whispering to each other, it was my turn.
After waiting and wanting and lookng for signs, jumping at clues, suggesting my arms, a child arrived and she was not running late.
She was right on time.
Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)