Telling the Folks

Last weekend we spilled the bean to my parents. My plan was to wait until my aunt came over for dinner and tell them all during a toast, but my folks took us out for a walk by this track that runs next to the Schuykill River. My dad and I took off with the dog, while S and my mom trailed behind. After a few minutes S called out, “I can’t do this! Can we just tell them?” She’s been getting a little winded on long walks and couldn’t keep up. So we gathered in the sunshine by the side of the track and told them. My mom was gushing with happiness. Later she told S we had given her a “new purpose in life.”

I’m happy for my mom to be a grandmother and think she’ll be a great one. But at the same time there’s some trepidation, because her enthusiasm became a little much to take at times. It’s hard to explain exactly, because it wasn’t just the specifics – the hints at wanting to come visit and schedule family vacations, the offers to buy us things and subscribe us to a pregnancy magazine, the wanting to do everything she possibly could to make S comfortable. That was all fine and expected. It was somehow more the teary looks and the lingering hugs, or the quiver in her voice when she told us about how her friends always ask whether or not she’s got any grandkids on the way and won’t they be excited for her when she tells them this joyous news. This is more than just a baby for her, it’s a new reason to get out of bed in the morning, something new she can point to that validates the good job she did as a mother. I’m happy she’s so happy, but at the same time, her intensity makes me cringe.

Now I sound all dire and overly analytic. But I fear grandparent overkill.


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