Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Son is Born -- as a Father, that Is! Another Granddaughter. . . .

The new parents have introduced their wee one to the world, so I can tell you now that we have been blessed with another beautiful granddaughter. Joy and  gratitude and relief (those last hours of waiting, every time, the worries we never voice aloud).
My daughter-in-law, never more beautiful than in her exhausted, disheveled post-surgery state, the homely hospital gown fallen off her shoulders, her newborn nuzzling her, skin to skin. Love.

And this guy.

There's something so moving--and gratifying as well, somehow--about seeing a son enter fatherhood, something that is different, for this mother, at least, than having watched my daughters in the earliest days of motherhood. The physical process of pregnancy and then the intense, overwhelmingly corporeal experience of labour and delivery, the hormonal streams transforming a new mother's emotions (not to mention her very neurology) -- all that is astonishingly transformative, ever so powerful.

But having raised a son who is able to stand back and support a woman through that process, who works to discern the balance between hiding and sharing his own anxieties, who agonizes over his partner's pain and is amazed by her strength, and then after all that, who humbly learns to diaper and to swaddle and to comfort a newborn in his arms because her mother's surgery means he's the mobile parent. . . . Well, that's me wiping a discreet tear or two away. . .

Only two generations ago, and this guy would have been hard to imagine, although my dad always managed to get himself to my mom's side and to baby as soon as possible. Not sure he could have got anywhere near after a section though. Even a generation ago, although my husband was a wonderful hands-on dad, the first days' care were pretty much left to me, at least for first baby. But these days, as moved as I am to see my son with his newborn in his arms, I know, happily, he's no exception. I saw my son-in-love cover the same territory just months ago, stepping in ever so competently to do the heavy lifting, literally, while my daughter's abdomen stitched itself back together.

All his life, my son has had wonderful models of fatherhood. His own father especially, but also his grandfathers, uncles, and, these last six years, his brothers-in-law.  In fact, as reported by one of those brothers, when all were leaving the hospital after visiting newborn niece last summer, Z. was heard to mutter, "Lot of good dads in this family. I'm really going to have to step up." And he has. And he will.

So proud of you son. And so happy for you and Joey and wee Eloise. Let the games begin!



We have Little Girl Nola coming to stay with us for the first week of her school Spring Break, so I'm not sure how much blogging time I'll have, although I do have a few posts almost ready. I'm not likely to find time to respond to all your kind and thoughtful comments on the last two posts, but I've read them all and it's surprising how much consolation I find in them. Thank you for reading and thank you for caring. It means a great deal.



18 comments:

  1. Oh, she's beautiful! Happy congratulations to the parents, and your entire family.

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  2. Another little girl! They will have so much fun as cousins. Congratulations on baby and having raised a good man!

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  3. The miracle of birth never gets old does it? It is fresh and new and brings us such joy...congratulatIons on your new grand daughter!

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  4. Congratulations to the whole family! And yes, having been on the immobile side of the first few days of mothering, the dads really do step up as the mobile parent :)

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    1. Until my daughter's C-section, I'd never really understood how drastically that birth changes the first week or two. Lots of things I'd never understood about c-sections until that point, actually, including how problematic some of the militancy against them can be . . .

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  5. Oh, this is awesome in the valid, non-clichéd sense. And Eloise is exquisite. New life! What could be better?

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    1. Yes, that is/was a very good word -- so particular and apt!
      Isn't she exquisite? Thank you for saying so! ;-)

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  6. Congratulations. I can almost picture your own beaming face as you wrote this.

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  7. Haven't even read the post yet but, seriously, this is getting to be pretty funny! So many little girls :-) Congrats to all. What a little cutie.

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    1. I know, right? One, two, three, four . . . .

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  8. And Eloise is the sweetest name. Another winner!

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  9. New baby...how lovely. And proud son. Also like the name. See - Spring has sprung!

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  10. Ah many congratulations to your son and daughter-in-law and welcome to Eloise.

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  11. So beautiful, Frances - both the new baby and your moving essay.

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  12. Congratulations and joys multiplied to you all.

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  13. Thanks so much for all your kind comments. . . I'm having to abandon my usual attempt to reply to every single one, as it's just too busy here at the moment. But every one is so much appreciated.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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