I cannot imagine myself a grandma. It brings to mind images of my grandma with her steel permed curls, cats eye glasses, and flowered house dress in the kitchen making pies. Or legions of ridiculously proud people flashing endless pictures of wrapped bundles that look like wrinkled little old men. In search of a way to identify myself in this new rite of passage, I found myself on the internet looking for Gaelic (my roots) words for Grandma. There are grandparent sites galore for us baby boom grandparents who are trying to figure out what to call ourselves that doesn’t sound too OLD and SERIOUS. Do you want traditional, trendy, international or fun? Baba, Yaya or Grandmere? The Irish name is Seanmháthair. Uh, what? The shorter version could be Mamo or Nana.
My daughter had the ultrasound that predicted a boy. With great pleasure her family showered the expectant couple with blue blankets, sleepers with pirates and trucks, little itty bitty jeans from GAP (I know–ridiculous) and dreams of a future football star. I was there when her baby was born. I hadn’t planned to be. I was just there to support her in the early throes and was going to make my graceful ‘don’t worry, I’m not intruding on your new life’ exit when things happened so rapidly that I got pinned into a corner and joined the ‘oh my gosh it’s coming you better push’ team. Within fifteen minutes a tiny new miraculous life emerged and the doctor pronounced the arrival of a baby GIRL and my world shifted forever. There was a moment of stunned silence. “Can you look again?” said my daughter? Immediately images of pink frilly stuff popped through my fevered brain, and I could hardly wait to kiss the new arrival, take the pictures of the wrapped and wrinkled precious little bundle to show everyone within reach and head grinning to the store.
I have witnessed new life here on the vineyard; the constant renewal and surprise of the vines, the chickens, the kittens, the orchards and lake below. I have loved every step in this journey from city kid to vineyard girl, but that has all now been swept to the side and painted with new colors. Mamo has arrived.