And…just like that…my world was forever changed…

His eyes rarely open. He hardly moves.

When disturbed…his head bobs up, then down…barely supported by a thin, wobbly neck. A limb might stir, like a wounded bird, otherwise, his body hangs limp.

He doesn’t smile. He doesn’t talk. He seldom acknowledges me.

Yet….I am deeply, madly, in love.

I was not one of those women who longed to be a grandmother.

I never ached, pined away, and prayed to be a grandparent. If it happened…I assumed it would probably be wonderful. I didn’t realize…until now…that it would be totally awesome, friggin’ fabulous, life-altering, spiritual, and breath-taking.

I never imagined this new being could take up so much space in my heart; that at times, there would be little room, for little else.

I never thought anything could occupy my mind and soul like the birth of Brennan Perry DaRos.

For months prior to his birth, I studied every misshapen, other-worldly, black and gray, alien-like ultrasound image from the OGBYN’s office…holding it this way and that…whispering to myself, “is that a mouth, or perhaps an arm?” “wonder if his nose will always look like that?” “is he happy…or uncomfortable and cramped in there?”

I once felt him hiccup through his Mom’s skin, and in that moment, he became real. He became human. That was the beginning of my love affair with this baby bump.

We had the blessed opportunity to share a home with the parents of the ‘bump’ from Christmas of last year until just days prior to his birth, on April 23rd. As his Mommy’s belly grew, seemed exponentially a package appeared on their doorstep…gifts of clothing from newborn to toddler, diapers of every size, a variety of toys, bottles, stuffed animals, and lots of infant paraphernalia…received from cherished friends and family…the first steps in building a community of support that would surround this little one. Brennan’s ‘village’.

We read complicated instructions, nailed and screwed together furniture that would become a bureau, changing table and bed in the nursery. We were present the first time he moved in the womb, and the first time our son felt the movement, witnessing the awe on his face and in his voice…his child, our grandchild, coming to life.

As Brennan reached the age of five weeks, we flew to Florida to meet him. (I sit here staring at the computer screen, searching for words to describe my feelings prior to walking through the front door…as I held back tears, and my breath.)

My first glimpse was him nestled in someone’s arms (can’t remember whose, as I was rigidly focused like a beam of light on this tiny creature) and was immediately overcome, flooded with emotion one cannot define.

The first time I held him…worrying before our arrival if I would remember ‘how’...(my sons are 45 and 54, it’s been a while!)…and like magic, all my mothering instincts kicked in… he and I, became one. Feeding, changing, diapering, burping was fun, pleasurable, pure bliss! Who knew? Didn’t seem so when my own children were infants…this was something new, something different, something special. Perhaps with one layer of responsibility removed, a space of pure enjoyment is created.

My anxiety revisited when first attempting to soothe him, but this too became natural, normal and second nature as Brennan and I got to know one other better.

Tomorrow he will mark eleven weeks on this earth. In that short time he has learned to breastfeed, smile, coo, and make delightful little sounds that reverberate in my heart. I am forever grateful for FaceTime and Zoom, and the receipt of photos within moments of being taken, an almost daily delight…at least some compensation for living over 1,500 miles apart.

And as is true of most things cherished, it is accompanied by concerns, and worries:

Will our current political climate impact his ability to have the trauma-free life he deserves? Will he always breathe clean air, drink uncontaminated water, swim in clear oceans? Will he be safe, sitting in his grammar school classroom? Will the persons making decisions in high places, having an immense impact on his life, be honest, trustworthy, willing to make the tough decisions for the greater good, or be immersed in their own narcissism, power and greed?

Dennis and I are in our 70’s…will we witness him graduate from high school, even 8th grade?

Many of our friends are grandparents, in some cases, great-grandparents. I know, they, too, share my angst….wanting NOTHING to ever harm, hurt or upset their bundle of sweetness…and yet I know, I cannot protect him completely from life and what will unfold.

What I do know is I can be present every day to the blessing of his birth. I can be active in making the world a safe, healthy, peaceful place. I can share the joys of grand-parenting with Dennis, ‘oohing and aahing’ at every ping of photo on our devices.

I will savor at my core the love and tenderness I witness between Jeremy and Danielle, Uncle John, and baby Brennan. I will continue to send pictures to his great-aunt, Theresa, every day…and to his cousins Melissa, Rhyen and Jaedyn….who, along with John, share with me Brennan’s middle name…my maiden name.

I will share and describe this euphoria of grand-parenting to anyone willing to tolerate one more video, photo, or heart-centered description of this little guy and his progress in life. (Thank you, dear friends, for indulging me these last few months.)

Most importantly, as his Nana, I vow to keep my worst fears at bay and laser focus on the incredible delight that Brennan truly is.

10 thoughts on “And…just like that…my world was forever changed…

  1. Oh Margaret…you found the right words and emotions in describing being a grandparent…it is a forever growing love❤️

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    1. I am touched that you resonate with what I wrote. You have been so totally present and enamored with being a grandmother, and have made a difference in the lives of each one of them. They are so incredibly lucky to have you! And you have been such a superb role model for me. xo

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  2. Beautifully written.. captured the heart ❤️ the whole family
    Molly was my first grandchild she was born on 6-2-09 two days later I was a womens weekend in Maine with you Kris Leslie 20 women & Author Joan Anderson
    I was so enamored by her birth I didn’t want to leave her.. they said go “have fun” after Joan spoke we had to go down by the water and write ✍️ poetry or whatever came to use in about 15 minutes I wrote a poem about my Molly Blue and got a standing ovation 👏 I remember Karen Strock the Author had me send her a copy of my poem
    Grandparents see magic 🪄 come alive when they see their childrens children when they look into their eyes or when they see themselves or their children once again in a divine way
    Nothing compares to this infinite love..so glad you’re finally here with us sharing you’re new journey of being a NaNa🪄👏😘

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    1. Thank you, De. You have been a dedicated, thoughtful, hands-on example of how to be a grandmother. I didn’t remember this story and would love for you to send me the poem. After so many memories of sharing life together for over 60 years, so special that we are sharing this experience of grandparenting together as well. xo

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  3. As happy as you are with Brenna and for his parents, just gotta say that this little bundle is so so very fortunate to have you for a Nana. You, who oozes with love, laughter and joy. What blessings to bestow on a child who is emerging into this world of ours.

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    1. Oh, Paula. You are such a dear. Thank you. You are another grandmother in my life who is as smitten as I am. I take your words into my heart…and deeply appreciate all the love and support I receive from you continually. You are a huge blessing and one of my dearest friends. xoxo

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  4. So beautifully written! How I wish I had your talent. I felt like you when I was younger, I didn’t want to be a grandparent. The word ‘old’ always came to my mind when I heard that word. When I found out Melissa was pregnant, I was thrilled! We had Rhyen overnight when Melissa went to a Sox game. I bonded very, very quickly. I couldn’t stop holding her, looking at her and actually stayed awake as she slept on my chest between feedings. Then to have her everyday while Melissa worked are memories I am so fond of. My husband did most of her care as I worked, luckily at home so I could feed her, play with her etc. We were sad when she started kindergarten. The house was so empty without her. You are right Peggy, grandchildren take up a huge part of one’s heart. I have more than enough love in my heart for my 5 grandchildren, and it’s a most amazing feeling.

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    1. Thank you, Theresa. I really appreciate your comments. I have learned how to be a caring, generous, doting grandmother from watching you. You and Dan are amazing grandparents. The way you both show up for your grandkids is something I marvel at…and learn from. You have demonstrated daily interest and enthusiasm for Brennan…almost equal to my own. He will be very fortunate to have a Great Aunt who cares for him as much as you do. It means the world to me. xoxo

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