I just traveled back in time and saw myself as a young mom cradling her first baby in her arms.
It was easy to recognize the baby, a happy and beautiful little girl with a head full of dark hair.
Only it was not me who brought this baby into the world. It was my daughter. Her baby daughter has the same easy temperament and dark hair she had as a newborn. For one sleepy late-night second, I really thought I was looking at my own child from 24 Decembers ago.
I felt a subtle click in the universe.
My own mother passed away many years ago, but she was with us. I heard her voice telling my daughter how proud I was of her. I saw her hands placing the sleeping baby in my daughter's arms. I have become her, as my daughter has become me, as my grandbaby has become my daughter.
I was very excited to become a grandmother. I love babies, and have retained a passion for the world of birth, breastfeeding and child nurturing. This was a chance for me to return briefly to this world that I left behind long ago.
But I had to remember this wasn't about me. I had my turn as a young mother, and now it was time to support my daughter as she made the joyful but not always easy transition into motherhood.
I can think of no greater satisfaction in this life than to see one's child thoughtfully and lovingly nurturing the next generation.
It started with her choice to try to have a natural childbirth, and it was the most powerful thing I have ever seen in my life. She succeeded in doing something I wanted to do but couldn't. She knew it was the best thing for her baby, so she prepared and educated herself and she did it. It hurt and it was hard and it took strength she didn't know she had. It is good for a new mother to know she has this inner strength, for sometimes it's needed.
I remember my mother's joy at watching me nurse my first child. She had fond memories of nursing me, and was glad that I wanted to do the same. I now know just how she felt.
So many of the scenes were just the same as they were nearly 24 years ago, but with different players performing the roles of mother, daughter and baby. We each had a role model to emulate.
My mother didn't live to see her great-grandchild's birth. I fervently hope that I will be around in 20-some-odd years when I become a great-grandmother. It seems so far off in some ways, yet it can't be, for the time between becoming a mother and becoming a grandmother has been extraordinarily short.
Page 2 of 2 - But I can already imagine it in my mind's eye. I will get a phone call from my daughter, telling me it's time to come meet my new great-grandbaby. There she will be by her daughter's bed, expressing admiration and encouragement as the newborn baby figures out how to get a meal.
I will say I remember her birth and her daughter's birth as if they were yesterday. My daughter will have a few lines in her face, just as I do now. My grandbaby will be all grown up.
I will feel a subtle click in the universe.
My daughter will no doubt feel one, too.
Congratulations to my daughter, April, and her husband, Zach. And welcome to the world, little Charlotte Rose.