Did you ever see the movie “City Slickers”? You know the part where one of the guys is telling the other guy that his divorce isn’t the end of the world? He tells his friend, “It’s like you’re getting a do over.”
That’s how I feel right now.
I feel like I am getting a “do over”.
Next November, I will become the daily caregiver for my very first grandchild, a little girl who will be born sometime in August.
I am incredibly excited about having the chance to take care of her, and to be able to help my daughter and son-in-law with the struggles of working parents.
I am so lucky!
And I’m scared to pieces.
What if I don’t remember how to rock a baby with an earache? My own baby is 23, for God’s sake! What if I can’t calm her down? What if I forget how to soothe a baby through the teething stages? What if she doesn’t like me? What if I don’t have the stamina for this?
Oh, brother. Thus runs the mind of a true neurotic.
At 3AM I convince myself that I am a hopeless excuse for a Nonni.
At 7AM, all I can think of is this: “I am getting a do over!”
I picture a day in early winter. The cold rain is pouring down outside, but the house is cozy. There is a big pot of stew on the stove, enough for Paul and I and enough to send home to Kate and Sam. I have bread dough rising, and I am sitting in the rocker with the baby asleep in my arms. A warm fleece blanket is draped over us both. I am humming a song, soft and low, and my cheek is resting on hers.
It is a do over. A chance to revisit my very best days. A chance to hold and cuddle and nurture one more life.
When my own babies were little, I had to drop them off at daycare. I had to rush out the door, into the wintery winds. I had to leave the rocking and the singing to others.
Now I have a chance to do it over again. Now I can relax, and stay at home, and give myself to the little one. All the love and caring that has gone into my 25 students can now be poured into her.
I am getting a do over.
I am so very, very lucky.
I can’t wait.