I’m a grandma. Yes, I say it proudly. I became one alongside my co-grandma, my son-in-law’s mom, Maureen.
We’ve been friends for a long time, becoming closer once our kids started dating. In fact, after Kimmi and Nathanael’s first date, Maureen called me at work and when I answered the first thing she said was, “Is this the possible future mother-in-law of my son?” We laughed with hopeful hearts, and then with full-to-bursting hearts, we hugged at their wedding the next year.
We don’t communicate regularly but whenever we get together we have a wonderful time. I love her.
I got a call at work on a Thursday from my sweet first-born girl telling me she would be induced on Saturday. “I’ll be there!” I told her excitedly. Not long after, I got a text from Maureen in Indiana asking if I would pick her up on the way. Her husband Jim would be flying in later. What a great plan!
It was a spotless sunny day for me to drive from Illinois to grandma-hood. Maureen called when I was about 2 hours from her house asking if she had time to bake cookies. What a great idea! Cookies are always a good idea, especially Maureen’s cookies. I finally got to her house and hopped out of the car, got a big hug from my friend, put her things in the trunk (including freshly baked cookies) and we took off for Ohio.
The rest of the drive was much more fun. We talked and talked, about the baby, about our kids, about blessings and struggles of ministry life (Maureen is a pastor’s wife, too). Once we arrived, a late night run to Cracker Barrell was in order due to Kimmi’s craving for biscuits and gravy, then the kids were off to the hospital to spend the night and Maureen and I settled in at their house.
The next morning after their greyhound, Danny was taken care of, we hopped in the car, found a Starbucks, found the hospital, delivered said Starbucks to Kimmi and Nathanael, and sat down in the room with them to wait. Whenever it was time to check Kimmi’s progress, Maureen and I would step out in the hall, waiting for permission to come back in. The last time we stepped out it was time for Kimmi to start pushing. The labor room was in a hallway with only three rooms and the other two were empty at this point. The grandma plan was to stand outside the room, with a foot in the door to keep it slightly open like any respectable eavesdropper, in hopes of hearing the long-awaited miracle moment of Ezra’s birth and first cry.
Our hearts were beating fast and we leaned close to listen until we were interrupted by a nurse we hadn’t seen yet that day, who must have just come on shift. With a stern expression, she instructed us that it was hospital policy to not allow visitors to congregate in the hallway and that we would need to go out of the labor hallway and out to the waiting area. Reluctantly, begrudgingly, we obeyed. Maureen dubbed our new friend “Nurse Deitzel” as she had a militant, “keeping order” air down pat.
We sat alone in the waiting room down the hall…waiting. Maureen flipped absent-mindedly through a magazine, I messed around on my iPad. I set it down to find a water fountain and as I was walking back, Maureen hopped up and said excitedly, “The lullaby! It’s playing! He’s here!” (whenever a baby was born, Brahm’s lullaby was played over the speakers in the maternity ward.) I scrambled to my chair, “let me cover up my iPad real quick!” only to realize the song playing was from the game “Candy Crush.” Argh! Crestfallen, we sat back down only to spring back up as Nathanael came through the doorway beaming, “He’s here!” Lots of hugs shared, he gave us the details so we could update family and friends who had been waiting with us and keep tabs through texts.
The moment finally came when we could walk, practically skip, back down the hallway and into the room to see Kimmi sitting up in bed, with her precious boy all wrapped up, lying still and quiet in mom’s arms. Yes! Finally! Praise God. So proud. So blessed. So happy I couldn’t even cry.
The grandmas went to pick up pizza and bring it back, only to pass “Nurse Deitzel” in the hallway. We smiled cheerily at her and marched right on to the room where our grandson was. No stopping us now!
The next day was all fun: Lots more getting Starbucks, food for lunch and dinner, holding Ezra, visiting with the new mom and dad…just being grandmas. I love this role.
Maureen had to leave Sunday. I stayed until Tuesday, so got to hold little Ezra John (EJ) his first night at home in between feedings so his Mommy (my beautiful daughter!) could hopefully sleep a little bit. EJ and I slept on the couch – I will never forget that night. I was exhausted the next day driving home but also still riding the high of all this love.
EJ will never lack love and I often thank God that we share grandparenthood with Jim and Maureen, two of the best who love Jesus so much and love people so well. Dear friends. Fellow co-grandparent adventurers! And it’s just beginning.
(Ezra John will be two in September! I wrote this shortly after he was born and never posted it. Reminiscing brings it all back as if it were yesterday.)