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"If I Could Save Time In A Bottle"...Embracing Our Authentic Selves - Delusions of Grandma
Robin Ehrlichman Woods is a non-fiction writer, and heeds the voices in her head when they give her story ideas.
Delusions of Grandma
Call me Daughter, and I am transported back to the halcyon days of unconditional love from my Mommy. I am also a Big Sister, although I prefer to be an only child. It took me two tries to learn how to be a good Wife, a fabulous Daughter-in-Law. Motherhood and all its blessings are right up my alley, and my sweet son-in-law calls me his “Little Mamela.”
Menopause left me unscathed, as it came and went with nary a hot flash. I found a comfortable decade to claim for my age, and am sticking with it. Who needs to know how many rings I have on my trunk, anyway? Now, I have finally met my match with something so earth shattering; I cannot wrap my mind around the concept: I am going to be a Grandmother. Suddenly, it’s all about me and the ramifications of entering this stage in my life. Oh, how I want to smell the sweetness of an infant’s neck again and hear the precious mewling coos whispered from tiny doll-like lips. Surprisingly, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time obsessing about "what" I will be to my daughter’s baby.
“Grandmas” are kind, nurturing old ladies, although I have been mistaken for a well-preserved, 40-ish femme fatale from time to time. “Grannies” bring to my mind crotchety, fusty blue-haired gals in sensible shoes; while a “Nana” is the petite woman standing in the kitchen, making homemade blintzes and potato latkes while saying, “Essen, shaynah maidel.” (Yiddish for “Eat, pretty girl.”) As the months go by and my daughter’s due date approaches, I wonder whether I will ever seem young to anyone again. There is a six year old inside me, trying not to misbehave. I know that life is a series of change and milestones, but I'm having trouble making a smooth segue. I am not quite ready to fill in another arc in the rapidly closing circle of life. If that’s all there is, I choose to veer off and make a hexagon instead. To ease my transitional emotional funk, family and friends are offering suggestions.
“The baby can call you Oma. It’s German for Grandma.” Oh my. Too hausfrau and Lederhosen for me.
“My sister Kathy has her grands call her K-Ma.” That would make me R-Ma, or Ro-Ma. Arrivederci, next choice please.
Worrying about my daughter’s pregnancy and delivery should come first on my list, but I am stuck on the notion of denying and lying about the aging process. “Lola” amuses me, but few appreciate the irony of my desire to be the namesake of a naughty showgirl from the Copacabana. “A little decorum please!” a voice in my head screams. I am fighting this crisis tooth and nail, discretion be damned.
The more my soon to appear grandson kicks, the closer I come to entering a fugue state. I have always looked and acted decade younger than my husband, who is more than ready to be a “Poppa.” It will be a relief from being called “Mac Ugly” or “Old Timer” by our charming son. I know its all “sticks and stones …” but I am taking calcium for my bones.
I eagerly await the newest link in our family chain, but emotions tug a bit too tightly at my heart. No matter if I am a “Nana” or “Gamma“, I am going to go ga-ga over my first grandson. I crazily hope that strangers will think he is mine, or he can just call me “Mrs. Woods.”