Nana was a very special person in our lives. She was my mother’s mother and she adored her grandchildren and spent as much time as possible with them. She is affectionately remembered in our family with a lot of love. I wrote previously on this blog site of some of those wonderful times. Our extended family is close and we have many shared memories, but those of Nana are the ones we love to talk about when we are together. So it was no small thing to decide that I wanted to be Nana to my own grandchild. I have big shoes to fill.
My granddaughter Eleanor Elizabeth, arrived about 2 1/2 weeks early (on April 29) after a long and trying week for my daughter, Amy. Ellie is beautiful and so very tiny, tipping the scales at a mere 5 pounds, 14 ounces. Amazing to think that we all start out so small and grow into such large people! I went to the hospital the morning after she was born, a Saturday, and got to hold and rock her for a couple of hours. People came and went; nurses, doctors, visitors, food service people – all those who keep hospitals running along smoothly. But Nana sat and rocked her sweet bundle and touched her tiny fingers and stroked her soft cheeks, talking soft nonsense to her, and storing moments to relive when I was far away.
Ellie’s finger was the length of the first knuckle on my little finger. Her hand was less than an inch wide as it lay atop mine. Her hair was dark, peeking out from her blue, pink and white striped baby hat. She has dark eyebrows – I don’t remember my children having eyebrows! And if they did, they were blond and didn’t really show. I put my finger in her little hand and she grabbed on tight (the below photo is with her mother). Her feet were long when she managed to get one free of her swaddling blanket. She was perfect. And the tears came softly that I had been given such an inexpressibly wonderful gift.
It is hard to put into words what it was like to meet this tiny bit of humanity for the first time. A part of me, part of the family I created in giving birth to her mother so long ago. It was a bit surreal to realize that my little girl was now a mother in her own right. She is and will be a wonderful mother; it is already obvious how much she loves her baby girl. Everton is completely smitten and so very proud of his little family. It is a joy to see him loving and caring for them both.
I went back to the hospital on Sunday for a few more precious hours before heading home. The three hours drive was filled with thoughts of soft baby noises and the sweet milky smell of newborn life. It would be three weeks until I would be able to get back down to Massachusetts to see them again. Amy sends me daily pictures like the one above, so that I don’t miss out; and we text often. Technology allows us to be connected at this special time and I’m grateful for it. But it is not a substitute for holding my little granddaughter. That moment comes again in just a few more days. Nana is counting the hours.