In my last column, which was in February, I closed with a cryptic message to my readers: "I am again perched on the edge of a major new chapter in life," promising to tell you all about it next time.
I trust you weren't sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for it all this time, since I have become lazy about writing and, let's face it, my ravings may not be all that important in the scheme of things. Nevertheless, I am making good on my promise.
After wishing and hoping for a long while, I am finally (drum roll, please) a grandmother! How's that for a major new life chapter?
In March, my daughter and son-in-law produced a gorgeous game-changer. She looks like her mama, she looks like her papa and she is, I promise you, the most beautiful, most intelligent, most wonderful child ever born, with the possible exception of my own four babies. I'm not just saying this because I'm her grandma; it's really, really true.
Some folks sit for hours glued to television or Facebook. Me, I sit for hours watching Sweet Baby G, who is utterly captivating. Her hands, for instance, could star in their own TV show. She moves her long, elegant fingers this way and that, flexing one digit, pointing with another. She raises two fingers, perhaps in an infantile peace sign; she very cleverly tucks her thumb inside her tiny fist in the sweetest little way. Those delicate little hands speak a language all their own. One thing I believe they are saying is: "Ready or not, here I am! I have a lot to learn, but I'm also here to change the world…just watch me!" And so we do.
I have finally come to appreciate the endless technological advances of our era. I can Facetime with SBG, and she actually looks at me, cooing and smiling on-screen. She knows I am Nonna, her devoted slave. I can (and do) demand nearly daily pictures of my adored granddaughter, like a crazed paparazza, trying to land the perfect shot for the cover of all the world's magazines.
I am spellbound at the sight of her tiny shoulder peeking out from under her little undershirt. Pure, innocent perfection! Her elbows are simply adorable, too. I am filled with wonder, tenderness, gratitude and joy whenever I think of her; magnify that a thousand-fold whenever I get to see her, which is not often enough, since she lives (most inconsiderately) in New York.
Holding her while she sleeps has become the pinnacle of life's experiences for me. When she cries, she does so with an ear-splitting roar … and I enjoy that too, because, after all, I can simply hand her over to her parents if she gets too loud. Besides, she's beautiful when she cries, just like her mommy before her. The debate rages on about the true nature of the mystery of life, but I think we can all agree: the innocence and humanity of tiny babies -- the hushed, reverent tones and ready smiles of delight they evoke, the better person one strives to be, for their sakes -- surely indicate a Higher Power in play, miraculous beyond our ability to understand. I am filled with awe. And gratitude.
During SBG's first week of life, I created a baby song, just for her. Though perhaps not destined for the Top Ten in anyone else's opinion, G loves her song, gets quiet when I sing it to her, and knows (smart little cookie) that it's just for her, from Nonna.
I hope she always knows that I love her, madly, deeply, irrevocably, no matter what. I wonder if she realizes the excitement and joy with which our entire family -- in the U.S. and Peru -- awaited her birth, as if she were the first creature of her kind ever seen on planet Earth. I wish every child could be greeted with such love and devotion. The world would be a much better place if that were so.
Sweet Baby G is, and will be, her own person, but her tiny self also moves our family forward, into a new generation. I look forward to telling her stories of my mother, my siblings, my children and myself. All her other grandparents will undoubtedly do likewise, with great love. The threads of the people, stories and cultures that came before, on both sides of the family, are woven into the priceless tapestry that is this treasured child.
Little Miss Adorable is already busy adding her own vibrant stamp to the family, bless her little heart. She, along with her mother and uncles, is my legacy to the world. Lucky world, if I do say so myself.
Kathy Baker lives and writes, passionately, in Kent, Ohio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the Record-Courier.