Granny ‘Nude’26 August, 2020
Alicante, 26 July 2020
This is my 50th article already ! It’s a bit of an anniversary blog, so to speak. I’d like to dedicate it to Joke.
This article is a very special one, because I am writing it now, whereas I will only put it online in September. But because I don’t want to wait until then to write what is happening to me now, I am doing this now. Because I know that I will never be able to write with the same intensity how I experience everything now, today. And I would regret that.
My daughter specifically asked me not to say anything, this had to be kept a secret for a while… You guessed it of course… She and her boyfriend are pregnant! Of course it was already coming, because the order is rather typical in Flanders: first have your own place and then the baby tickles appear to follow very quickly. Or maybe it’s the other way around, it’s first the desire for a baby, and that’s why they want a safe nest, a permanent place to raise a baby. I don’t know, but at least it was the same for me.
I have never really been very much into it, from the idea that I especially want to let my children go and let them lead their own lives, in the way that they want, and make the choices that they themselves support and take responsibility for. I don’t need to play any active role in this, they are old and wise enough. All this just to say that I wasn’t really working on a possible ‘baby story’. Worse, I still feel far too young for it! Just turned 50, grandma will be when your 60 or so, won’t you? That feeling was a bit in the back of my mind.
But I have to admit that the moment we went to Spain I was thinking about leaving the children behind, I would be much less present, and would miss a big part of that new chapter in their and my life as soon as it presented itself. It sounds a bit sec, a bit strange, but somewhere I had to protect myself from that feeling of missing something that was not there at the time. I hear from almost everyone with grandchildren that this is so completely different from your own children. That as a grandparent you can only enjoy yourself, without the worries and sleepless nights that go with it. You can spoil them and they look up to you very much. That seems to be the way it is. But most likely the latter will be completely different because I live so far away. That too is a choice I made at the time, and one that I found difficult. But just because it wasn’t on the agenda at that time, and I still don’t know what it feels like to have to miss that little creature born out of your own daughter. Fortunately, perhaps. Otherwise I might never have left. Or at least it would have been a totally different way of leaving.
Coincidentally, just last night we were sitting at a table with guests of our age who were talking about their granddaughter. I was frightened to death. I could not imagine that at that age they already had a grandchild, let alone me. I was joking, because I thought it was an idea for far into the future. And then suddenly my daughter unexpectedly tells me that there was a certain reason why she wouldn’t come in the spring of 2021 but this autumn. I don’t know why, but she didn’t have to tell me. I just felt it and shouted with delight: you are pregnant or what? Even Wim felt it. He was working inside, while I was chatting on the terrace with the speaker on. He listened half way, which he never does, because he felt that something would follow. Afterwards he even said that he had felt it for a few weeks.
I did not, it came as a real surprise. I did not know how I had it. Instantly worried how she felt and when the date was due, and, and, and, and, so much more… It was strange, unreal. She’s a beautiful age, just like me 25. My thoughts started to rage. What should he call me? Because I had the feeling it was going to be a little boy. So did she, she said. Funny. In the very funny next conversation we started to fantasize together what ‘he’ would look like. Her boyfriend has curly hair, and I used to want a child with a nice curly head. But unfortunately. So we fantasised together that he would have blond curls, and a dimple in his cheek, just like her. We immediately started to dress him up with tough Nike shoes, and jeans with braces. And Crocks? I would have suggested. Not done, she was very clear about that. I shyly tried that it was incredibly cute, those little Crocks, but to no avail.
And then it came to the subject: what does he call me? Funny at first; Bomma -no way too old-; meme -I don’t feel like that, not like me at all; Grandma maybe. At that time my children called grandmother and grandfather supplemented with their first names. Then we decided that it might be grandma Spain. Or just ‘Granny Nude’, suddenly I shouted? General hilarity. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Well, we’ll see, it will take a while before it gets there.
My daughter asked me to keep it for myself (and for Wim of course), because at this moment only the parents and the brother and sisters knew. In the end it was just 8 weeks or so, and anything could still happen. Top secret she said, don’t tell your guests either. This is going to be a difficult one, but of course I respect that for her. So I’m clutching my teeth together and I’m eager to write this blog, because it really has to come out.
Wim and I opened a Cava and had a drink on the good news and e-mailed a photo. Top secret, mission accomplished. So wait a bit longer…
In the evening when I went to sleep after we had long chats with the guests during the night swimming, the news came back into my head. I was able to allow myself to think about it again without any danger of slipping my tongue. And I have a very strange feeling that I am still so very young to become a grandmother! Very strange, insusceptible. I don’t know how to deal with it. On the one hand it makes me feel old, but it doesn’t match how I feel in my head. I still feel very young and cheerful. My body makes me feel every day that I really am not 25 anymore. I crack in all my joints, am stiff and lame when I get out of bed in the morning, I always have a pain somewhere. But even that can’t convince me that I’m not as fit as I used to be.
And now this news thumps a message into my head with a bang that I really am 50, and therefore entitled to ‘grandparenthood’. Wisely I leave this feeling aside, because what does it matter in the end. My daughter gives me the most beautiful role: I am allowed to be a grandmother. A very special grandmother in fact: Grandma Naked! That sounds really young, doesn’t it? Fantastic feeling, wonderful. I’m just going to enjoy it, and dream about a lovely guy with blonde curls and a dimple and secretly I’m going to put orange Crocks on him 😉.
It is a…
Lavinia, Saturday 22 August 2020
Yesterday I unexpectedly received a whatsappje from my daughter:
It’s a … 😍, with the accompanying picture.
At that moment I was on the terrace, in the fierce sunshine, wearing sunglasses, and couldn’t possibly see what was in the picture. I rushed inside, away from the sun, away with those sunglasses and feverishly looking for my ordinary glasses, which again God knows where was lying. I didn’t get a clear idea whether it was a boy’s or a girl’s body. There was a pattern on them, but I didn’t see it. Even after zooming in it wasn’t quite clear to me. The rushes caught my eye. Then my euro fell. A girl!
How could I be so wrong? Not only me, but also Joke herself, her daddy, sister. Strange, isn’t it, how you start to form your own image and build a complete fantasy around it? Of course I was very happy, but honestly? I had to have my thoughts adjusted anyway. In my head it was a little boy, you know, with blond curls. Now I had to adjust that imaginary image in a girl. And that didn’t really happen by itself. I tried to call Joke, which of course didn’t work out, because she also wanted to inform her daddy and her boyfriends parents. So I waited impatiently for her to call me back. As soon as she came into the picture, I saw it: she was shining like never before! How beautiful to see that! Lovely! I immediately felt a warm glow of sudden love coming over me, and of gratitude because she was so happy. Strangely enough, I still had to hear the confirmation whether it was indeed a girl. Yes!, and above all healthy, as the tests showed. You could see that it was a great liberation for her to know that she turned out to be healthy. Now the real enjoyment could begin! Together we started fantasizing again and dressed her baby daughter in a jeans dungarees, with a dot in her hair… delicious.
I recognise so many of my pregnancies in her experience of her pregnancy. History repeats itself, the unreal feeling of a baby growing in your belly, the unconditional joy, and of course the discomforts that come with it.
I will be silenced for a moment. I will, of course, respect that, but it is very difficult for me. I want to shout it out to the world. My blog is ready, I just have to post it, and the world knows. I’m still waiting for Joke’s starting shot. First, of course, she wants to tell some people in person, as well as at the school where she teaches.
Last week I saw an über cute swimming costume hanging in the shop and fell in love with it. I wanted to buy it so badly, but because I was still convinced of a grandson at the time, I didn’t do it. Yesterday, immediately after the phone call, I went to the shop to buy it anyway. Afraid that someone else would have bought it before me. Now I am the proud owner of a sweet swimming costume, which I cherish until I can give it as a present. Is it really true that becoming a grandmother is very special, that it fills your heart with love and warmth? That it cannot be compared to the feeling of carrying a baby in your belly? I believed it every time I heard it from others, but experiencing it for yourself is completely different. I don’t have to worry about nausea, about fatigue, about fear if you feel a little less, about feeling fat about yourself… I can only dream and enjoy what is to come!
I hope so much that Joke can come to Spain in November, that I can admire her growing belly, caress her baby daughter’s head… That I can bring up my memory box about her as a baby and muse with her and tell her about how I experienced my pregnancy when she was in my belly, about the birth, about breastfeeding,… I am looking forward to it. We now have an extra bond that wasn’t there before. I know I had the same with my own mum back then. We could dream about it together, make the cradle, and you name it. I loved that she pampered me then.
Of course, from here, 1800 km away, this will be a bit different, completely different, but fortunately the current technology provides images and sound that also offer possibilities. In the meantime, I just keep on dreaming…
A girl can also wear Crocks 😉 But maybe a nice little sandal, slightly shimmering anyway is just a little more girly-girl…😊
Ana or Granny Nude