I had said to my son, jokingly, “I’d really like to be a grandma before I’m 60”. He and his partner were to marry after seven years together. Though I might have only been half-serious, they did not disappoint with my first grandchild due just before their first wedding anniversary.
They had invited me to their first ultrasound. It’s a moment I’ll never forget, watching that tiny baby inside its mother’s tummy. We didn’t have such technology when I had my son. Neither my son nor his wife wanted to know the child’s gender. It was a special moment being with them.
It was late at night in early-December 2012 when my mobile phone rang. “Mum, we are at the hospital. We are in labour.” My daughter-in-law endured an arduous labor, but finally I received the most important phone call from my son, one I had been waiting nine months for. “Mum, you have a grandson! The baby is well. His mum and I are knackered” or words to that effect.
It would be two days before Heath, my grandson, and I would meet. Entering the room, I saw my son with his son lying contentedly on his chest. It was a magical moment.
When I held him in my arms I was flooded with memories of the day I gave birth to his father. It was as though I was holding my son again! Heath was the image of his father. He was an 8 pound ‘something’ content baby with a thatch of dark hair. I changed him, gave him to his mum to feed him (which, just like his dad, he did effortlessly) and I fell in love all over again.
This little boy has given me so much joy in the last five years. I feel privileged to have been able to care for him on occasion since he was a baby, and I still happily accept the call-up when it comes. He started school this year, a major milestone in a child’s life, and soon I will be attending the school’s ‘Grandparent’s Day’.
I am so grateful to his parents for allowing me to spend time with him. Considering the health difficulties I’ve had in recent years, I would have understood if they’d decided I was not able to care for their small child.
With any luck, I might be able to welcome another grandchild (a sibling for Heath, who I will love just as much) but, in the meantime, the time I get to spend with him is so precious.