I was almost 30 years-old when I became a gramma. I became a gramma when I married. I kinda skipped the parenthood step, and by the way, I would recommend that, though for most people it isn’t very practical. I love babies; I just never had any of my own. I did get to hold a bunch of babies. I held my brother through his babyhood, from the time I was 12. Then I held my baby sister beginning when I was 18. And then I held the grandkids.
I have eight, and they have grown into terrific people. I spent a lot of years babysitting for them, as their parents allowed. We took them on vacations, had week long summer visits at my house, made gingerbread houses, took walks along the Arizona washes picking up rocks, rode horses and cared for rabbits and chickens and guinea pigs, made dream-house posters, and colored giant pictures of girls dressed in old-fashioned clothing. They grew up and got married, and now there are nearly 23 great-grandkids, some of whom I have also been able to hold and rock and do the some of the same activities all over again. They now live far away from me, and I mourn the missed minutes.
My sister became a gramma January 2 of this year. She assisted at the boy’s birth, and I was able to hold that baby within the first 12 hours of his life. Watching her as a gramma is a highlight of my summer visit to Wisconsin. This boy is my new beau. He is sweet, vocal, and so loved it hurts my heart.
Being a GAD (Great-aunt Deb) is a joy and privilege. That baby skin and those prehensile toes, the soft hair and huge eyes, and the smile that wins every woman in the room are more than can be described. I didn’t get to be a parent, but I sure hit the jackpot in the baby department.