She's Having a Baby: Reflecting on Pregnancy
Every time I catch a cold, my mother-in-law, dear soul that she is, would ask me the same question: Are you pregnant? She was the first child in her family to have a family, and is the last one to have grandchildren. The grandmaternal pangs have begun, especially since her own mother-in-law, the last link to the first generation, passed away a year and a half ago.
People have begun to become accustomed to seeing us childless. After all, we have been married more than three years. Always a workaholic, I finally quit my hectic 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. job in construction to start my own business. Home based business, the light pops above heads at family reunions. "So... ," they say, sitting next to me at a picnic table, "When are you going to bless the family with more children?" I struggle not to choke on my barbecued chicken and resist the urge blurt out, when are you going to bless the family with less nosiness?
A mommy. Me, Mom. I can't picture it. I pretty much raised my brothers and sister, serving as a "surrogate mom" for much of their childhood, so that isn't a new thing to me. I taught Sunday School for three years, and children are naturally drawn to me. I am my friends' babysitter, because they know I love kids so dearly. We get along just great. I adore the honest freshness of childhood, and I know how to talk to kids. They are like miniature adults " they don't need you to spell out words for them or talk like they are little monkeys in OshKosh suits. They know more than we think.
I'm the generation that rocks, that listened to W. Axl Rose (we never did find out what the W meant) and learned history by watching the "Schoolhouse Rock" on Saturday mornings. I can sing almost all of the words to "Conjunction Junction" and I know why Charles was in charge. I remember Matthew Perry when he was a kid who had an angel for a friend. I ate Corn Nuts and drank Dr. Pepper for lunch. "Heathers" still makes me nostalgic. I remember swooning over Corey Haim and Chad Allen, and ET was the first movie I ever saw. I am too young to be a mom.
But a child of my own. Somehow, while I was seeing all of my friends' children clambering onto my lap for hugs or digging in my pockets for the ever present stick of gum, or helping me invent funny rhymes for our names (Scarah's favorite name for me is Pangella), I forgot to see the face of a little tiny girl with black hair and a gentle heart, a little boy with his father's easy grin and his mother's dark skin. Somehow children got lost in the rush. Those children are mine.
No, Mom, I'll say to her next week. It's not the flu. And she'll call me the next day, when she gets the tiny sweater that says I LUV GRANDMA in big letters on the front.
Angella Kay is a freelance writer and owner of TheLightKeeper.com, a website for at-home parents. Since writing this article, she has given out two "I Luv Grandma" t-shirts. This article is published by a written permission from Pregnancy.org and is copyrighted to the same source.
This page is updated on March 14, 2013