She was born, and I was there. My granddaughter. Her name is Birdie, and she is wondrous. I will never forget witnessing her birth. It was an honor.
This birth took me back to my own childbirth events,and the tumult of parenthood. The anxiety, the rushing, the fatigue. We were parents in the days of Dr. Spock. I think we thumbed through two editions, looking up crises like Coxsackievirus, croup, diaper rash, and teething. We worried about poking our babies with diaper pins. Then, MY GOD, teething, diarrhea, fevers, and vaccinations-we hated them because of the needle sticks, not autism — nobody worried about that yet.
It was as if our identities as adult humans were erased, and we became Mommy and Daddy. We even called each other that. We were consumed with legos, baby proofing, play dates, and lost booties.
Then came toddlerhood, preschool, elementary. Bullies. Those endless soccer games. Packing lunches. With two girls, as soon as they got old enough to compare, there were the constant wardrobe issues — if tights were not popular, God forbid I suggest they wear them on a cold day. Gum stuck in hair. The facts of life, inevitably brought up in conversations in restaurants, LOUDLY. Balanced meals and absolutely no junk food (sort of).
Then high school, the partying. Worries about drinking, drugs. “Condoms? The Pill? What do we do?Curfew or trust them?”
Then, they left for college. After three days of sobbing, we both looked around and said, “Hi.” We realized that all the time was free, AND IT WAS OURS. We went to movies. Cooked recipes with multiple steps. Binge watched. Forgot about “waiting up” for anybody. We didn’t need that huge car anymore!
We looked around, and Mommy and Daddy had vanished. We had ourselves back. The nest wasn’t even a nest any more; it was our house! I wrote two novels. His band had so many gigs it wasn’t even funny.
We forgot who we were for a few years. But we are back.