After I gave birth the first time, I swore I would never have another kid. Repeated this daily to Hubs. Sorry, this baby factory has been permanently shut down. Out of order. I was too young. It was horribly traumatic and painful. And I stuck with that story for several years. Shannon was beautiful, smart, precocious. Pretty much a perfect kid.
|Shannon, 8 months, 1971…|
A few years later, just as suddenly every baby I came across was cute again. What was going on? The last month of my pregnancy, which lasted so much longer than a month was slowly forgotten. Ditto for the painful labor. I think God slowly makes you forget all the painful stuff involved with childbearing or none of us would ever have more than one kid. Seriously. One kid per woman. China would not ever have had to restrict family size if women all recalled our last month of pregnancy and giving birth.
|Newborn Joshua in New Vienna, 1975…|
I thought I might be ready to have another child. But how do you divide your love with this awesome little person who’s already been in your life for years? Would I be able to love another baby like I loved Shannon? Am I the only one who had these thoughts before my second pregnancy? Truth be told I was a little worried. I already loved Joshua, but would it turn out to be equally? Another thing God took care of without even asking. Much like the Grinch, my heart just expanded. There was more than enough love to go around. Oh-self-doubting-Duh-Neese. The same held true after another 4-1/2 years when Adam joined our merry band of misfits. My heart just grew another size.
|Adam, Spencer Iowa, 1980…|
Twenty years later Shannon became a mom. To the exquisite Ariana in 1991. When you think having a kid is extraordinary (and it is) try expressing your feelings for the first time you hold your kid’s kid. Breathtaking, fragile, miraculous and fulfilling don’t even come close. But there’s some different feelings too. When you’re a mom you worry about illness and accidents as your babies grow, but you don’t dwell constantly on those things. Another God thing, because you would be so consumed with scary scenarios you couldn’t function on a daily basis. I found myself worrying much more about Ari than I ever did about Shannon, Joshua or Adam. That’s grandma worry instead of mom worry. Danger Will Robinson danger, er I mean grandma.
|Ariana, 9 months, 1991…|
I see this at work too. Everyone I work with in the infant room is younger than me. Some decades, some pretty close to my age. I have the tendency to scamper, scoop up and move a baby to a safer spot much more than anyone else. Often after my day off, someone will say, you should have seen what Lily was trying to do yesterday. One of us mentioned, “Denise would be having a heart attack over that one!” Although I don’t really see myself as a worrisome person, my worry boundary level is much higher than everyone else’s. Keeps me on my toes for sure. The joys of Grandma-hood. I should rap that.
|Landon 9 months, 2001…|
Along the years, 3 more amazing grandchildren joined us. Landon, (Drew to the rest of the world) in 2000, Peyton in 2004 and Graham in 2009. Twenty five years have flown by since Ari, and that’s the only and best way to describe it. Flown past. You could slow that part down just a bit God. How the heck did Ari get to be 25? Remains a mystery. Ari and (her) Josh came over on a warm summer weekend last year to tell us they were expecting. Couple of breaths later I realize that would make my young-ish daughter Shannon a GRANDMA AND ME A GREAT-GRANDMA. Oh my stars. That seems too young for both of us. It was quite surreal for a few weeks.
|Peyton 9 months, 2005…|
Ari put this app on her phone. A backdrop where she’d stand sideways in front of a wall, smiling. A cute little saying next to her might announce, I’m 13 weeks and the baby is the size of a walnut. Later on, a lemon, grapefruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, summer squash. Finally a watermelon, which is exactly how she looked. Her face still thin, legs and arms too, but her belly absolutely looked like a watermelon was just languishing right there in her middle. She could no sit or sleep comfortably and hadn’t seen her cute feet in days.
|Graham 9 months, 2010…|
When Ari was born there were quite a few similarities to her having a baby this week. Her uncles Josh and Adam were 16 and 12 when she was born. Twenty-five years later, Ari’s sibs, Uncle Landon is 16 and Aunt Peyton is 12. My Mom had a girl first. Me too, so did Shannon. I knew right away that Ari was having a girl. I would have easily wagered a few bucks that her baby would also be born in the month of December, and on an even date. And she should have been. Due on January 3rd, you could easily understand baby girl’s dilemma. “No, sorry Mommy, I’m unable to proceed with the birthing process. I’m already too big and very comfy right here, so please just continue eating and I’ll be fine & dandy. You and daddy can meet me later. OK?” Ari probably should have had a C-section. Hindsight, good birth control for the future.
|A fun weekly update showing the growing signs of Jovi, 2016..|
After being induced a week after her due date, enduring a ‘quick’ 24 hours of miserable labor, baby girl made her whopping debut. In this corner, weighing in at 9 pounds, 1 ounce, the lovely yet formidable, Jovi Marie. Ari finally a new mommy, said, “thanks for not waiting any longer Jovi or gaining another ounce.”
|A tuckered out Jovi right after being born, 1-11-16…|
She wasn’t born on an even, low date of the month either. Jovi joins her daddy, aunts Peyton and Sarah with the uneven dates of 15, 7 and now two 11’s. Although we love them all, I’ll be working out equations until my head spins trying to make this work.
|One happy family! Josh, Ari & Jovi Marie…|
Great-grandpa and I were not at the hospital when Jovi was born. We thought about going after 16 hours of labor, but Ari was still stuck, dilated to only 4. Plus there were several more important people with her for support. So we waited, worrying and praying everything would be OK.
|So much love and emotion. Jovi and Mommy, 1-11-17…|
John and I first met Jovi when she’d been on earth for about 12 hours. So hard to put into words. If you can imagine the joy of holding your newborn, multiply several times. Here’s this tiny, exquisite person. Filling out a newborn sleeper perfectly. My kid’s, kid’s kid. As she squirmed, squeaked, frowned and slept contentedly, this is what ran through my head.
|Jovi and her great-grandma-me! 1-12-17|
Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace, of doubt in my mind.
I’m in love, I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave her if I tried.
|Shannon Marie (Gi-gi) with Jovi Marie, 1-12-17…|
The Monkees, 1966 (an awesome year BTW)
|Jovi & great grandpa John cuddling, 1-12-17…|
Welcome to our family, Jovi Marie. I hope you know how much you are loved and adored…
|Jovi = perfection, thanks so much God…|