OK...so this blog post could also have a subtitle..."Confessions of a Grandmother". I didn't want to put that in my title because as most of you know, I do NOT like to be referred to as "grandmother" or any other geriatric sounding name. Perhaps THAT is why I have the "little problem" I have concerning grandparent hood.
Riding in the car on the way home from church Sunday, I brought up the fact that our pastor had mentioned that his daughter was expecting her first child. He had said, from the pulpit, something like..."I can't wait to spoil that little girl"...you know, the "usual". We ALL do such things when our children are EXPECTING the baby. When the baby is actually BORN...well, things REALLY get...hmmm, for lack of a better word, COMPETITIVE!
I have mentioned before how extremely competitive my husband and children are and that I truly am not. Things changed a bit (OK...a LOT...) when our first grandchild, Parker Ann, was born last August. Although Sarah's parents do not live in the same city (or even state for that matter...) I was feeling the pressure early on. I wanted that baby to have EVERYTHING! So, I set out furnishing the nursery, buying the "Cadillac" of strollers, designer baby clothes and shoes...Don't think badly of me, because I DID ask her parents if THEY wanted to buy some of those things first. I may have lost my mind there for a minute, but I KNEW my "baby etiquette"! This was only a precursor of things to come. The REAL competition began on the day the baby was born.
Now, I am only making these confessions for one reason: EVERY grandparent (OK...grandmother) feels this way. Well, I'm pretty sure of it, at least... And to ADMIT it openly SHOULD have some sort of cathartic properties, I'm hoping! When our pastor announced the upcoming birth of his grandchild, I told Robby, "Poor guy, both sets of grandparents live in the same city." I had been lucky enough to NOT have that issue and I was still having these feelings of competitiveness. Let me explain for those of you who have not yet walked in my shoes. You see, I notice every little thing that the other grandmother does and I sift through it in my newly acquired grandmother filter. Robby (and most other grandfathers...) does not posses this filter, but I must say that he is tuning in to mine quite well. The first thing my filter threw out was the "Firsts". You know, "Baby's 1st" Halloween onesie...Baby's 1st Christmas ornament...stocking...baby doll...beach trip...You get the picture. It is was not going to be in the cards for me to get to purchase ANY of the "firsts" for Parker Ann. OH...believe me...I tried and found that this was not a competition I wanted to enter. I'm not going to lie...I wanted to be a part of creating an heirloom that Parker could carry with her for the rest of her life too. I had quite a few "internal" battles concerning this situation, while Robby tried to reason with me "externally". THIS is the answer that I came up with...
Sure, I would like to buy Parker Ann a few (or at least one...) of her firsts, but is that what is REALLY important? It is worth a lifetime of "Firsts" just to see that little smile on her face as she now recognizes her Ya-Ya and crawls over for me to pick her up. When her chubby little hands grab my face and she giggles, it reminds me that I am very fortunate to not only have her in my life but also living close enough to see her at any given moment. Another "first" is coming up in August...Parker's 1st birthday. I have already been told that her other grandmother is getting her, her "first" table and chairs so that she can have tea parties. That's OK...No, REALLY it is. I told Robby that I didn't know where Justin was going to put it or if it was even allowed in their neighborhood, but I guessed I would have to show up with a pony! OK...I'm just kidding...(wink, wink!)