Okay, so right after Brooklyn was born I felt like I should write a heartfelt, touching, tear producing post about the instant joys of becoming a grandparent. But as wonderful as this week has been, the truth is, I felt a little numb, almost like I was stuck in a dream and any minute I’d wake up, and poof! Meagan would still be pregnant and we’d still be waiting for a baby. I was feeling kind of bad about the way I felt, like I was already failing as a grandparent until Doug expressed the same feelings. I’m not sure why it affected us like this. We’re guessing it may be because we’d been waiting for Brooklyn since the kids lost unborn baby Kiley last spring.  Basically this child has been anticipated for eighteen long months, during which time we also lost my mother to a terrible, year long illness.

Years ago, Andy once told me how to remember which direction tightens and which one loosens things; righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. Now when I go out to water my flowers and I turn the hose spigot on and off, I often say it silently to myself, righty-tighty, lefty-loosey and I’d begun to wonder if it was possible for our emotions to turn on and off in the same way. I suppose I was expecting a lightning bolt of happiness to strike me the moment I held Brooklyn for the first time at the hospital, that my newfound love for her would wake me up, would fill me up and make me believe that I actually deserved to be happy. But Doug and I both left the hospital the day she was born in a bit of a daze.

Today we had to go over and babysit Brooklyn so that Andy could take Meagan to the doctor’s for complications from the epidural. At one point, I took the baby into her room to change her. After she was cleaned up, I swaddled her in a blanket so that only her head was peeking out and I picked her up. She started to fuss so I began rocking gently back and forth and talking to her in that instinctive, sing-song mommy voice women seem to be born with. Brooklyn quieted down. She began to study my face carefully and then she smiled, the sweetest, purest little smile and that was my moment. It didn’t happen in a brightly lit, crowded hospital room, but alone in the silence of a darkened nursery. And it was not so much a bolt of lightning, but a gentle lefty-loosey, a gift from the tiny pink lips of my first grandchild that went straight to my heart.

18 thoughts on “lefty-loosey

  1. Marvelous post. I must admit that I did feel an instantaneous connection with my first grandchild, but I know that not all grandparents do. I certainly had not lost one baby and a parent during the previous months. That combination would leave anyone a little numb.

  2. I understand how you feel. Becoming a Grammy was surreal for me and it took a week or so for it to really sink in. I now have a grandson, two granddaughters, and two more granddaughters on the way. They are the joy of my life. I’m so happy you are nearby and will be able to watch her grow and change on the daily, like they do. Congratulations to you all!

  3. this post is absolutely beautiful. your writing flows so well! the photograph, too, is precious – congratulations on your granddaughter!

  4. Oh, Lilli, I’m so happy for you! I know this must all be so bittersweet…it’s always the intersection of loss and gain that brings us to our knees. One great sadness for me is that my mother never got to watch my girls grow up and that she is not here today to see her great grandson. Sometimes I feel her spirit close and know that somewhere, somehow she is a part of it all–a part of us all. Enjoy those alone moments in the nursery! Brooklyn is just beautiful.
    Warm blessings,

  5. Oh, she is sweet enough to eat!

    We were just talking here, about the exhaustion of what happens those first weeks; of the baby energy … its like heavy meditation, too! But your writing wonderfully opened and I love the way you use the private moments to get to know her… she’s yours!

  6. Hi There, We’re home after a wonderful weekend in the gorgeous North Carolina mountains. I’ll post in the morning.

    Congrats again, Lilli. Brooklyn is a beautiful baby –and I know you just want to ‘eat her up’….

    Hope you had a great weekend.

  7. This is a beautiful post. That moment of connection can come at at any time for folk ~ sometimes it takes days or weeks. And after all that had gone on with the pain and loss of losing your mother, and your unborn grandchild previously ~ it’s not really surprising you need the dim and quiet light of the nursery, and a one to one with Brooklyn, to make it.

    If babies can think, she probably thought ~ so THIS is my grandmother … how lovely, I’ll smile.

    PS: Brooklyn is SO beautiful.

    • Aww, thanks Carrie. I sat in front of the computer the first couple days and thought, “I got nothing” what a lousy grandparent I’m turning out to be! Then when I finally had time alone with her I started falling in love and finally felt like a grandma:)

  8. What a beautiful post (and a beautiful granddaughter!). I had similar feelings with my second granddaughter. It just didn’t “hit” right away. But when it did, it was amazing.

    I use those right and left (tight and lose) terms when dealing with the garden spigot too.

  9. What a sad and happy both. Wide range of emotions! Congrats on your new grandbaby! (You’re gonna have to add a letter to your blog title now, just an R, lol. )

  10. Now that’s an insightful piece of prose. I know exactly what you mean. Even old crusty grandpas can be melted by those little facial expressions. Pappy

  11. Lovely post. Bittersweet, and touching, such an awesome thing to become a grandparent.

    And I absolutely have to point out something about the baby’s portrait that struck me instantly. Did you look at the GRIP of her hands? Yes, indeed. Righty-tighty. Lefty-loosey!

  12. she is adorable. welcome new gran. our little Maggie Rae was born on the 17th January 2009 and was 6 motnhs old last week. You have no idea what pleasures are ahead of you. i am hoing to add you to my daily list to follow you and her adventures in pictures and words. see my dashboard for my grandies girl blog -photos and quotes…i am so happy for you. xxxx

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