This weekend, specifically at 2:32pm on Friday, I became a grandmother. A 26 year old grandmother to the most perfect and beautiful little babe ever.
Folks, do you want to know what a more difficult, more trying job than being a step mother is? It’s being the step grandmother.
We are on the end of the frantic 2:15am phone call screaming “She is in LABOR!” and we are fumbling for decent clothes (by decent I mean simply a bra and jeans) in the dark. We are rushing in the middle of the dark to get to the hospital as soon as possible.But then, as soon as “Delivery Center” is legible on the signs, we become the coffee fetcher.
The one who drops Prince Charming off at the door to meet his laboring daughter. We wade through the creepy parking lots (in not-so-great cities) to deliver the caffeine- I’m happy to be the coffee deliverer, there are not many things that bring instant joy to a recipient quite like coffee.
We become the Waiting Room Queen. Accompanied by set 2 of 3 grandparents and Prince Charming. 17 calls for her dad, he rushes to her side. Boyfriend’s mom (lets call her Grandma 2 for all intensive purposes) heads in, too. This would be a great time for me to be in there, not some other chick.
Prince Charming comes back. Now it’s Grandma and grandpa 2’s turn to visit..again.
PC visits again after a few minutes of waiting.
Those feelings of not being good enough and being unwanted that we often get in this role? They are in full force. I can’t even see my girl. I can’t even say good luck or smile at her before she goes into hard labor. I am wiping away the tears as fast as they come, because today isn’t about me-it’s about grandbaby. But they keep coming. I get mean.I tell PC he annoys me and I’m tired of it.
3 hours later, I’m allowed to say hello. Grandma 2 has gone out of her way to address my Prince ONLY. She has gone out of her way to tell stories of how our girl was at her house. and how she gets to do all these things for her. She is very good at making someone feel bad.
I am small. I am insignificant. I am unwanted.
but 12 hours after our arrival, we hear the chimes go off. We’ve already gone to the store to buy flowers and balloons, cigars for the men. We’ve slept for a mere 7 minutes. We are tired and hungry and sore and anxious for baby. Grandparents 2 are the first in the room (Grandma 2 was in the room with Grandma 1 and boyfriend during delivery). Step Dad goes in next. THEN PRINCE CHARMING. Grandma 2 comes in again. Finally, after at least ten minutes of everyone else rotating in and out (multiple times), good ole step momma can come in. Grandma 2 saw my husband cry the first time he saw his grandbaby. She saw my husband kiss his daughter on the forehead after she delivered her first child. She came and rubbed it in my face.
Grandma 2 sits nearby whenever we are in the room. She interjects any time we speak to 17. She watches. She hovers. She is going to get slapped. But Jesus swoops in and reminds me that I’m going to see this woman for the rest of my life with grandbaby, so I shrink back and turn my other cheek for her to strike again.
But when I get to hold grandbaby, the world stops. Tiny. Clean. Fragrant with new baby smell. Silent. Perfect.
Baby gets to call me grandma. Not Step Grandma, or by my first name. I will be baby’s grandma. That’s all he’ll know.