The Christmas season of 2008 overflowed in excitement from the announcement that a new family member was expected to arrive within a matter of months, nine to be precise. While I wanted to shout the spectacular news from the rooftop, I was confined to secrecy. Those of you who have experienced the heart breaking feeling of losing a planned pregnancy will understand her reasoning. As her mother, friend, and a woman, I empathized with her feelings and honored her request.
Now I usually don’t engage in idle gossip or share information that others have entrusted me to keep to myself, but this secret was different. This was the event that I had longed for, and now I had to wait a little longer before I could tell anyone other than my husband. I felt like the bottle that imprisoned the genie; and like the genie, this secret was trying to escape. Keeping myself occupied with other matters such social networking on Facebook didn’t help. Every time there was a discussion about grandchildren or anything remotely connected to children (toys, Santa Clause, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, etc.), I wanted to comment in big capital letters, I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER! So whenever I felt the urge to “blow the lid”, well, I just pounded the cork a little deeper into the bottle. Well, at least I can start shopping for things that the baby will need, I thought—yah, right.
“I would wait awhile,” my daughter said. “There isn’t any reason to start buying stuff when we don’t even know if it’s a boy or girl.” My daughter, Autumn being practical minded, quickly discourage any notions of going on a baby shopping spree. In her childhood years however, “practical” was the most unlikely word to describe Autumn. Given a name that perfectly suits her personality (continuously changing), when I think of Autumn the girl, words like emotional, dramatic, free spirited, unpredictable, and spontaneous immediately comes to mind. Almost any word becomes her, but practical. Somewhere along the way, I blinked, and Autumn seemed to transform overnight from a capricious child that only lived in the moment into a vibrant, responsible, dependable, practical, mature woman giving me advice on sensible spending.
This is just too much, I thought. Now I have to wait until the sonogram reveals the sex before I can start shopping for the baby? Did they stop making unisex baby clothes, or what?
“I’m just saying,” she continued. “Why spend a load of money on neutral colors when we have the option to know exactly what we should buy, if we just wait awhile?
“Okay; okay,” I said. “At least I can start looking for stuff that all babies need regardless of the sex, such as cribs and baby furniture.”
“You can look, but don’t buy anything just yet,” Autumn replied. “I want to be there when decisions about furniture are made.” I understood her point, and she made perfect sense; still she was taking the fun out of being a grandma.
So for the remaining of the Christmas season, my only option was to count the minutes before I could pop the cork. Time moved slowly as I awaited my granddaughter’s arrival, but the 86,400 minutes that I had to wait before I could release the genie from the bottle seemed to move the slowest.