Coreen, now 49 years old, was approaching the big 5-0 and was not yet a grandmother … far from it, actually. Most of her friends were grandmothers and she envied the storied they told about their grandchildren. Her two daughters were old enough to start a family, but there was no chance that this was happening any time soon. There were no signs of a baby in the near future.
Coreen’s 30-year-old daughter is a devoted elementary school teacher. Over the years, her daughter has touched many children. Her endless devotion has brought her a sense of fulfillment. Coreen was not surprised that her daughter hadn’t manifested any intention to have children of her own. She was more inclined to adopt a child than to become pregnant. Nevertheless, Coreen repeatedly expressed her opinion that her daughter would be a marvelous mother.
As a teacher in a public school , Coreen’s daughter is involved in the integration of children with disabilities in the mainstream of regular education. This initiative is valuable as it gives all students an equal chance to get a standardized education and social interaction. However, teachers face many difficulties, for the class size remained the same, regardless of the number of children needing special attention. Teachers had to attend to all students equally, which makes their profession very demanding. Sometimes Coreen worried about her daughter because she worked very hard, devoting most of her evenings to planning educational, interesting and captivating lessons for her students. At this point in Coreen’s life, her hope for grandmotherhood was probably not realistic for the near future.
Coreen’s other daughter was in her mid-twenties and followed the typical present-day young adult path of enjoying life before founding a family. This path differed from Coreen’s generation’s practices, but she could see its advantages. Much like her older sister, her youngest daughter was not ready to have a baby.
To Coreen’s surprise, both daughters eventually announced they were engaged. Both engagements took place about five days apart. Coreen’s face radiated joy and she relished the idea that she may become a grandmother soon after all. But wait, there was more…. Just a few weeks later, her oldest daughter announced even better news!
The announcement took place in a restaurant on a very busy evening. As Coreen vividly recalls it, her daughter presented a picture of her stomach with a date written on it. Very confused, Coreen wondered if her daughter and future son-in-law had set a date for the wedding. But why would her daughter write the date on her stomach? It did not make any sense. Could it be that she was pregnant? Affirmative! Was this true … or was it a dream? No, it was reality. At first, Coreen was surprised and after a few moments, she burst into tears. She cried so hard that she couldn’t contain herself, and the worst part was that she couldn’t stop! Coreen is a very reserved person and it was unusual to see her react this way. Everyone in the restaurant stopped and looked at their table. Coreen’s family members were puzzled by her reaction and they were trying to calm her down. They thought that she was very upset by the fact that the pregnancy occurred before the wedding. They didn’t know what to do next. However, on the contrary, Coreen was very much thrilled by the pregnancy. The only words she kept thinking were “MY BABY IS HAVING HER OWN BABY!” After a long moment, she put on the biggest smile and everyone understood that her reaction was positive and filled with gratitude, love and abundance.
For Coreen, becoming a grandmother truly meant:
- A new special life-long relationship;
- A grandmother-grandchild bond;
- Spoiling herself by holding this little precious baby and watching her/him grow and evolve with life experience;
- Seeing the true innocence of a child;
- Taking advantage of her life experience to enjoy a distinctive togetherness with the baby;
- Witnessing the child’s laughter, crying, teething, first words, first steps, and babbling, as well as the first time she/he would call out her name.
For Coreen, her dream had come true and she couldn’t ask for more. A baby and two weddings! Her friends and family knew she would be a marvelous grandmother. Coreen would definitely enjoy this new chapter in her life.
Can you think of any other joy associated with being a grandparent? Let us know by adding your comments to Coreen’s article on the Women’s Expressions Web site. You can also submit your story by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to read your experiences through your interpretations.
Story by Coreen
Edited by Zoé G.