My Mom and I have always been very close, even though I’ve lived far away from my family for more than a decade, my closeness too my Mom has remained unchanged. And it was never more clear than when I was walking my path with infertility. While I was alone on that path, my Mom was always walking along side the path, right with me, cheering me, encouraging me and hurting for me, crying with me.
My transition to motherhood has not just been my victory, but a victory for her too. Just like I struggled to be around friends who had kids while I was infertile, so my Mom struggled to spend time with her friends as they became Grannies and she was also still struggling with “grand” infertility. It was hard for her. I know it hurt her and made her sad and it was one of the issues I struggled with throughout my infertility, not only was I sad for me, but I felt like I was letting everyone down around me, because of my disease, my family, my Mom was being deprived of the experience of grand-parenting.
My Mom now has an amazing relationship with both my girls and both of my girls are extremely close to her and it’s a beautiful thing to see. There is NOTHING that I can’t ask her on behalf of the girls that she or my Dad won’t do for them. So last week, when I got notice from Ava’s school that they were having Grandparents day, I knew I could ask my Mom if she would be willing to fly up to Jozi for a few days to attend Ava’s special day at school and of course she said yes.
Yesterday was the special Grandparents picnic at school and the look on Ava’s face, the shining light, the utter love and pride that she showed at having her Granny there was utterly priceless. The class put on a little show for the attending Grandparents, including some songs and at the end of the picnic, each child was called up one at a time to present their Grandparents with a little self crafted gift of magnetic fridge picture frames. Ava was called up second on the class list, collected her frames from her teacher and walked towards my Mom proudly holding out her hands to show what she had made for her Granny and saying: “I love you Granny!”
My Mom is utterly horrified at her reaction. She was mortified yesterday because she said as soon as she saw the look on Ava’s face and the words from her mouth as she proudly presented her gift, my Mom burst into tears in front of the whole class and other Grannies. My Mom says she doesn’t understand her reaction. She says perhaps she’s just an emotional old lady but I know why she reacted the way she did.
Like me, she was caught off guard in a moment of surrealness. A moment, that for the better part of a decade, she thought she’d never get to experience. A moment she yearned for. A moment she ached and longed for. A moment she cried and begged for. And there she was, sitting in a class full of 4-5 year olds and she was there as someone’s Granny!
Just like the reality sometimes hits me: I’m a Mom. I fought and I conquered and I made it too motherhood, so it is for my Mom too. She fought along side me, she encouraged me, she enabled me at times, she cried with me, she mourned with me and now finally she can say: I am a Granny.
Love you Mom, thank you for standing by me through the darkest period of my life and for being the most amazing Granny to my girls!