A thought has been swirling in my head for the past few days. Whenever I used to make my “bucket” lists, at the top of each and every one would be, “To raise my children to adulthood.” Another one would be “See my future grandchildren grow up.” I realize that these may not be common “bucket” list items but they always were for me. This is because my mother didn’t get that chance. She and I never got to discuss menstrual cycles, plan a prom, attend a graduation, pick a wedding dress or chat when I was a new mother. No, she didn’t get a chance to raise me because I was only 10 when she died.
Fast forward to 2014. My teenage daughter tells me that she is pregnant. What? “But, you’re studying to take the SAT, you’re supposed to leave for college next year! What do you mean?” I nearly screamed. But yes, this was the news and there was no changing it.
So, I cried for days, immediately made my first appt. with a counselor through my company’s EAP and started to journal like a mad woman. I have always been an avid journaler but I started carrying this one around so I could capture every thought related to this shocking news. I poured every angry, sad, disappointed thought into that little book so I wouldn’t pour out hot lava on everyone. I don’t have much of a temper, never been violent. I’ve always been someone who took the turn in the road and tried to make it a comfortable ride. But, whew, this was a BIG, unexpected turn.
I held the information close for a long time and worried how I would feel when she started showing. It was all I could think about, amidst my 9 to 5, my business and my homelife. My mind raced non-stop. I was outwardly calm, set about the tasks at hand, but my mind was moving constantly.
However, interesting things started to happen. While always someone who earned good grades, my daughter was a procrastinator, a “wait til the last minute to do the assignment” type of chick, much to my chagrin, a woman who, as a teen, had once earned the name, Nikki the Nerd. Her laziness drove me bonkers. But now, with the news that her first child was on the way, she got focused. She did well on her SATs, she got ahead of assignments, she was inducted into the National Honor Society. Once summer hit, she worked two jobs. She was a nanny during the day from 7:30am to 6pm and would immediately go to her McDonald’s job until midnight. She worked this way through her entire pregnancy, even when school started again in August. At the mall, she bought things for her son, instead of herself (HUGE). She wanted to buy all of the big items for him since this had been HER choice so she bought the crib and the stroller system. I was seeing a different person. For her 17th birthday, she asked me to pay for her Infant CPR class and her breastfeeding class. Who is this girl?
On 9/18/14, at 3:07 am, her son, my grandson, entered the world, in a room with a mother who had loved him the entire time and a grandmother who fell in love on sight. God knew what I’d always put on my “bucket” lists and Lord willing I’m not going anywhere anytime soon but I have to say, now that he’s here and I can rock him in my arms, I’m extremely thankful for His plan. It’s as if God knew that getting the opportunity to see my children through was of utmost importance to me. A dear friend from high school said that this child came right at his appointed time, to the family he was meant to have. I believe that with my whole heart.