We are Grandparents!(2)

Crônicas do Cotidiano > We are Grandparents!(2)

We have reached the end of the first day of our grandson’s life. By way of telephone, Skype and Facebook, we have already heard a description of his birth in Bangladesh, have seen photos with and without his mother, we have heard his cry and we have watched a 45-second video of a baby with wide-open eyes, with his hand under his chin looking like a philosopher (similar to his father that graduated in this field and like his Brazilian Grampa), sneezing, following the movements of his Daddy’s hand, reacting to the tickling of his feet… I am already most certain that my grandson is the cutest and most intelligent baby in the world! I would love to be able to hold him! And to be able to kiss my eldest child on the top of his head as he so tenderly looks at his own firstborn.

I remember his birth in Recife (Brazil), thirty-some years ago. It was an experience so different from that of the women in my country (Canada)—where only the husband and the mom of the new mother were allowed to visit at certain times and nothing more. In our case, I started having pains in the wee hours of the night and we called the doctor and went to the hospital. My in-laws (Papai and Mamãe) went along and, as soon as daylight came, they called the relatives. The room they gave me was huge and I walked around it or lay down on a bed on one side, doing crossword puzzles in an attempt to reinforce my Portuguese. On the other side, there were two sofas and a few chairs and they soon filled up with good-humored uncles, aunts and cousins who stayed chatting, sharing stories, and telling jokes. I thought it all very strange but they were discreet and, in a way, it seemed better to me to be like this than to be alone with strange people in an entirely unknown environment. The love of my new family had already been extended to me—they all wished me well and affectionately spoke of me as the “galega”—which in Northeast Brazil means something like “blond foreigner”.

When the pains became more intense, the doctor (who had also brought my husband into the world!) banished all except for my husband and my mother-in-law. I had set up with him that I wanted to be awake, without anesthesia, to see my son being born (or daughter—in those days ultrasound exams were not common). They took me to the birthing room and I was doing everything I was told to do when, suddenly, they gave me something and I went out like a light. It so happened that David had the umbilical cord around his neck and they didn’t want me to see the struggle to bring him out alive.

I woke up sometime later, already in my room. Seeing a crib with a blue sheet beside me, I whispered to my husband (who had come to my side when he saw me stirring)— É marido? As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realized that I had used the wrong term (I meant to say É menino? which means “Is it a boy?” Instead I had asked if he was a “husband”!) But he kissed me and replied “yes” (and the story brought a lot of smiles as it went from person to person in the family and the church). And I slept again, relieved and happy with the companion that understood me and with the son that lay there sleeping. When I woke again, I realized that the room was full of people. It was Sunday and Papai had made a phone call to the church, just in time for the announcement to be made at the end of the Sunday School program. Thus, dozens of people stopped by the hospital to congratulate parents and grandparents and to admire our big baby. He was huge by Brazilian standards—4.5 kilos and 55 cm (about 9.7 lbs and 22 inches). And very handsome!!!

We received many visitors in the week that followed! And plenty of gifts, as well. Then, on the following Sunday, on the “eighth day,” we took little David to church where we, with great seriousness, before God and our brothers and sisters in the faith, committed ourselves to bring him up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, at the time of his baptism. And God blessed us in this….

I have notebooks full of feelings, ponderings, poems, thoughts and happenings that were recorded in the months and days before and after his birth. Every week, I sent an extensive report to my parents and siblings in Canada who (like we now) could not be present to see, hold, kiss and play with the one who was also their first grandchild and nephew. My mother kept all of my letters. There are hundreds, written during the twelve years that preceded her death in 1988. I have them now, kept in a box. And I find myself wanting to find, reread and share the contents with the parents of my grandson—in that longing that I believe to be common to all parents and grandparents, to perceive the repetition of physical, emotional and intellectual characteristics throughout succeeding generations.

But it’s time for Grandma to go to sleep.

Deixe o seu comentário

Crônicas do Cotidiano > We are Grandparents!(2)