A few months back, I was grieving the loss of my youth, when my daughter decided I had mourned long enough. "You are going to be a grandmother. Suck it up and get through the stages of grief." She said the next step was anger, then I could move on to acceptance before labor day arrived. I informed her that she had forgotten depression and bargaining, but she said I'd had enough depression already and my bargaining chip was allowing me to be present at the birth. So just as I was settling on the anger phase, she jerked that one out from under me as well and said there was no way I could be angry about becoming a grandmother.
I started to grieve the fact that she wouldn't let me grieve, when she told me to stop whining or she would force me to sit in the hall during the birth and torture me with an epidural needle . . . or a turkey baster . . . she hadn't fully thought it through.
That was nearly a year ago when my concept of the sensible-shoe-wearing, gray-haired granny gig was almost more than I could bear . . .
This weekend I attended a youth conference in Gatlinburg. It just so happened my daughter, son-in-law and baby granddaughter, Mayah, attended this conference as well, staying in a condo some 2811 feet from my hotel.
Lucky for me, 5-month-old Mayah learned how to butt-dial my cell phone through her diaper. Late Friday night she called and said, "M.E., wanna have a girls' day with me tomorrow?" (It sounded more like "ee wah ooowee hiii", but I knew what she meant.) So, being the wonderfully clever grandmother that I am, I called my daughter and offered to "help out with the baby" so she could enjoy the morning session outside the restraints of motherhood.
Saturday morning arrived, and I forfeited the banana-topped, cream-cheesy French Toast at the nearby Breakfast Cabin with the rest of my group, and hiked the half-mile up the hill in my trendy gray vest and black clogs (sans socks) to see my baby girl.
Once we got rid of her mommy, my granddaughter and I discussed the turmoil in Egypt, the 66th anniversary of the Marine landing on Iwo Jima, and why P!nk is so cool, despite her failure to use ladylike language. We analyzed the appeal of the cellophane inside baby toys and marveled at the amazing job character actor, John C. Reilly, did in his role as Mr. Cellophane in the musical, "Chicago". This led us to speak of the differences between narcissism and self-esteem as we shared a cafe mocha. I assured Mayah that while Stacy London says babies with eggplant-shaped heads should never wear mullets, and zebra-striped knit pants are definitely "what NOT to wear", her own self-esteem should never become wrapped up in external beauty.
After our exhausting heart-to-heart, we stretched out on the couch and I introduced her to a great Creature Feature on SyFy and educated her on the difference between BAD movies and the highly underrated genre of B-movies. During commercials we shared our excitement over the upcoming Arrested Development movie and Liam Neeson's latest action flick, and decided someday we would have to find the time to watch "Schindler's List" together.
We knew our alone time was drawing to an end when one of us needed a nap and the other needed a clean nappy. So while I readied myself for some fresh air and perhaps a glimpse of a winter waterfall, Mayah changed her own diaper and slipped on her elastic-waist, zebra-striped pants just to spite Ms. London.
This "granny gig" isn't really so bad after all. Pretty sure it beats death by turkey baster.