This date for me represented the beginning of the end!
It was the day my very first grand-child made his appearance on this earth, and I made my passage from Mom into "the grandmother"!
When I first learned that my son Eric and his beautiful wife Sarah were pregnant I was very excited and happy for them!
It was an especially joyous occasion because they had been told by medical "experts" that they could not have children.
I guess the joke was on the so called experts!
I have to say that at the time of the news, my total focus was on what this would mean to them as a couple, as a new growing family and mostly how we, their now extended family, could support them.
The months of their pregnancy went by quickly, well at least for us, not for poor Sarah, she was actually doing all the work and carrying all the weight.
When we got the call that the baby was on the way, my hubby and I, with a few of our kids, made the trip to Philly to welcome the newest addition into our fold.
The photo above is of Eric Alejandro de Jesus Iraheta when he was a whole two days old.
I have to admit, while I try to consider myself a tough person that can handle any stressful, high crisis, life threatening "fill in the blank" situation, I am however a big softie for some things. Not everything mind you, just mushy movies, sappy songs, dying field mice, and weddings, but honestly, the birth of babies was not on the list!
Up to this point the only time I cried at the birth of a child had been when I was delivering my own boys. I was a needle-phobe and refused to have anyone, stick anything sharp, anywhere near my spine!
I figured, I got this right, how hard can it be??
I guess God in his infinite wisdom blessed me with very short, some what uncomplicated deliveries to spare my foolish self prolonged pain,but tears did make their way in at some point during the birthing process. I thought this was the only time tears were merited at the birth of a child.
Then came grand-babies!
As soon as I laid eyes on my first grandson, the dam broke and I was overcome with happiness, melancholia and everything in between!
I was so amazed at how much my grandson looked like his father, duh, right?
My whole life as a mom flashed before me!
The births, the bedtime stories, the bumps, the bruises, the books, the balls, the brawls, the battles,and most of all, how quickly it all just flew by as I was caught up in my every day existence.
Even with all these emotions, I was still on top of the world as I held that bundle of love.
Then of course, my family always the ones to keep me grounded quickly informed me that, "you're a grandmother now!"
Yay!, wait what?? I was dumbfounded!
Grandmothers were, well pardon the misconception, old, had white hair, reader glasses, plumpy physiques, baked cookies and told stories about the old days!
That was definitely not me, or the way I saw myself, well minus the cookie baking part and stories about the old days!
While I had never been shy about sharing my age, as if I had a choice since my kids would blurt it out anyway to anyone that would listen, the thought of being a grandmother threw me off for a minute.
Just for a minute, because I quickly realized that, just like I had broken every other stereotype in my life up to this point, I could do the same with being a grandmother.
I would be a hip, active, jet setting, grandparent. I would be very involved in my grand-children's lives, but I would also still be myself, an individual with my own life to continue living.
So when I say that the birth of my first grandson was the beginning of the end, it is actually an amazing thing!
It was a passage of rite, a kind of "Wow, I actually made it through motherhood and have gone on to the next level!"
My grandson Eric, or Tiki as we call him, will be two years old next month and I just welcomed his little brother Anthony Vinicio de Fabian Iraheta, two days ago.
His birth made me realize that while I had been writing about my life as a mom, woman, business person and human being, I really was in a new phase of my journey.
This blog highlights this transition and I felt it was long over do to commemorate that rite of passage.
I was not "The grandmother", which in our family meant a grandparent who was more a figure to be feared or avoided, but I was more of a "Gammy JJ" as Tiki had decided to call me.
I smiled because "Gammy JJ" was different, and new, just like I viewed myself.
I still did not have white hair, well only if I let the dye job wait too long, or reader glasses, not that I would admit; and I was not going to be a stand in for Mrs. Claus any time soon, but I was a cookie baking grandma.
The funny thing is that I was okay with the role. I enjoyed babysitting for Tiki and pitching in when Tony V came on the scene.
The most important thing for me was that I was helping out as a grandparent, not as a surrogate mother. My grandsons had two very active, loving parents and they do not need a third wheel interfering.
I was not lucky enough to have grandparents growing up and my mother was usually trying to be the "do all parent" and weeding me out of the equation.
I had promised myself that I would not be that way.
I was going to be helpful when needed, but also know when to butt the heck out!
So, I am glad that you decided to join me on this crazy trip as I discover the new adventures that being "Gammy JJ" will bring.
So if you happen to see some hip, plane hopping, "older" woman typing frantically away on her chic Mac laptop in the airport terminal, you might have just encountered "Gammy JJ".