Tag Archives: Grandma

A Baby Is Born . . . via Text Message

The first text came in around 9 pm.

The grandpa-to-be needed to update the family on what was going on.

K is in hospital waiting fur the baby to come. She has been there since one this morning. They are about to give her an epidural and then try to speed things along. Will try to keep you all up to date if I can keep my eyes open. 

This was grandpa-to-be’s first blood grandchild and to say he was elated would be an understatement akin to saying Mount St. Helen’s got a little burpy back in the 1980’s.

I’m sure that this is nothing new to the older relatives of children being born these days, but the sense of immediacy and connectedness that this engendered was amazing to me.

Way back in the old days when I first blessed this world with the spawn of my loins, things were a bit different. And I don’t say that just because of all the dinosaurs roaming around.

My dad was the only grandparent who lived out of the state and so we had to call him in advance and let him know we’d be inducing our first born on a certain day. That way, he could plan ahead and be there when his first grandchild came into the world. Everyone else we delayed because we didn’t want our entire family in the delivery room.

We had to plan. Then, once the proto-Sarcasmo was born, the only people who knew what he looked like were those who came to look at him directly in the face and be blinded by his astonishingly good looks.

Non-immediate-family had to wait until we had taken the first of approximately 7 gillion pictures of the boy, had said pictures developed at a local photograph store, picked up said pictures and then mailed them out to interested parties. It was weeks before everyone we cared about knew that we were parents, much less had seen the little dude.

This time, though, it was like we were in the delivery room with the AlmostMom is smiling because the epidural has kicked in real nice and she's feeling no pain in the delivery room as she works to birth her first baby.beautiful mother, older sister, smiling dad, amazing aunts and gobsmacked grandparents.

We received pictures via text message and then e-mails with more pictures and even a video or two. It was a connected birth the likes of which I’ve never experienced before.

Say what you want about the intrusiveness of modern communication, how cellphones and computers and the internet are forcing us apart from each other and into hiding behind screens of glass, but there are definite upsides to this.

Not only did I know that Scarlet Jane (also christened Baby Jake by her grandpa) was born, I was able to look into her adorable little baby eyes and see her mother smiling back at me, the same adorable face I’ve known since she wasn’t even a teenager.

Thanks, Grandpa and Grandma, Auntie L and all the rest for your great updates. Thanks for showing us how it’s done here in the 21st century. And welcome, Scarlet Jane.

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Happy Mother’s Day

by Richard

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

For a couple of reasons. 1) Everybody else does and I love very few things more than going against the herd. 2) I prefer continuous small changes as opposed to one large change. I think it’s easier to achieve your goals that way.

However, today, Mother’s Day 2012, I make one resolution.

I resolve to stop crying and getting all weepy and waily when I think of my mom, Catherine Stedman Jones, who passed away a little over a year ago from a bizarre fight with meningitis and multiple sclerosis.

Don’t get me wrong. I still miss the dickens out of her. I still find myself halfway through punching in her phone number, all ready and excited to tell her about some silly thing or other that would have tickled her funny bone. To me, she was the indestructible woman, who kept getting dinged, but kept going.

She had a trick, you see. When something got her down, whether it be her breast cancer, the multiple sclerosis that held her back from doing some things she wanted (but which I think she secretly put up with because it gave her something to fight), or any of the other things that tried so hard to drag her down. . . When she started getting weepy and waily, she’d say something along the lines of, “I’m going to give myself another day to feel all weepy, but then I’m done.”

And, you now what? She pretty much was.

She didn’t believe in self pity. She didn’t believe in being selfish that way. Sure, something might be sad, but that was no reason for her to keep focusing on herself when there was so much else she could be doing.

So I’m going to honor her by imitating her.

I figure fifteen months is enough with the grieving. It’s time to start thinking about the good things, about the smiles and the laughs and the way she’d snicker when she told a dirty joke. (And, dude, she told some bad ones. I still can’t decide whether to be embarrassed or just deny I ever knew her when those get brought up.)

It’s time to get out into the world and do something good for someone else.

It’s time to start looking for the good in people, even those people I can’t stand.

It’s time to smile more.

It’s time to tell my young dudes I love them and will support them no matter what.

It’s time to get on with living my life.

And that’s the best gift any mother could give to her child. She taught me how to go on.

Now it’s time to celebrate the living mothers out there. To Tia, who’s raising a wonderful niece and nephew, while still housebreaking a stubborn brother-in-law. To Grandma, who’s still got time for travel and the dispensation of advice while planning her wedding. To Susan, who’s never too busy running a huge blended family to take a bit of time to enjoy the sunset.

But, mostly, to She Who Must Be Obeyed, for living and learning and loving, loudly.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all! And to all a good night!

Oops. Sorry. Wrong holiday!

Although, you know. . . Mothers. . . Nights. . . Reflecting on how they became mothers. . . Maybe wishing them a good night isn’t such a bad idea, after all.

Enjoy the day, ladies. And the night.

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Freaky Friday: Driving With Grandma

by Richard

Despite the stereotype of old people being horrible drivers (and, let’s face it, some of those old dudes are, in fact, horrible), there’s actual, credible scientific evidence that says your young dudes and dudettes are safter riding in a car with grandma and grandpa than they are with you.

Now that’s a scary thought, because what does it say about your driving ability when an arthritic, near-blind old lady who’s so short the only thing showing over the steering wheel is a puff of overly curled white hair (known coloquially as Q-Tip Disease)?

Enough with the depressed frown. Let’s talk facts and figures.

“We were surprised to discover that the injury rate was considerably lower in crashes where grandparents were the drivers,” said Dr. Fred Henretig, an emergency medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the study’s lead author.

Previous evidence indicates that car crashes are more common in older drivers, mostly those beyond age 65. The study looked at injuries rather than who had more crashes, and found that children’s risk for injury was 50 percent lower when riding with grandparents than with parents.

The study results came from an analysis of State Farm insurance claims resulting from car crashes from 2003-2007 in 15 states. The data gave information on more than 12,000 kids under the age of 15.

While there are no definitive causes of this significant discrepancy, researchers said they theorize that it could have something to do with nerves and the lack therof.

“Perhaps grandparents are made more nervous about the task of driving with the ‘precious cargo’ of their grandchildren and establish more cautious driving habits” to compensate for any age-related challenges, they wrote.

And, then again, perhaps we should remember that grandparents aren’t really that old any more these days. By which, of course, I mean people are a — relatively — younger age when they become grandparents, as opposed to the fossilized ages of grandparents from when our parents were kids.

Overall, 1.05 percent of kids were injured when riding with parents, versus 0.70 percent of those riding with grandparents, or a 33 percent lower risk. The difference was even more pronounced – 50 percent – when the researchers took into account other things that could influence injury rates, including not using car seats, and older-model cars.

Okay, so yes, this does sound plausible. Still, knowing how my mom drove and how my dad does drive, well. . . I think I’m glad I mostly had the young dudes take their chances with me. Of course, them driving with their mother really was taking their lives in her hands and that was dangerous. And also probably a post for when she’s not reading.

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