Becoming my best self
I think of myself as fairly young still, 46, that’s young right? My kids, now 30, 27 and 21. You can do the math. I was a very young mom; thank goodness I had a village to help me. From the time my daughter Savannah was a teenager, I started to dream about becoming a grandma. I loved watching the way my mom was with my kids. She was so present and crafty, always with enough sugar on hand to make up for the lack of sugar in my own cupboards. She was always just…there. She inspired me. I knew I wanted to be just like her as a grandma.
The thought of being fully present, available, and being able to get my craft on appealed to me. Being able to smooch on babies, feed them sugary snacks then hand them back, yeah, that was my dream.
As a young single mother, I was always working, sometimes several jobs and the occasional graveyard shift. There was stress, constant activity, exhaustion, and sometimes full on breakdowns.
My initial thoughts about becoming a grandma…I knew one thing for sure- I did NOT want to be called grandma or even nana. Endearing, but it just reeked of being “old”. I refuse to get old–aging I don’t mind because that means I am living–but old? Nope. Not me. I wanted a youthful and sugary name–but no, not ”sugar”. So, I came up with the name Lolli. To me Lolli seemed like the perfect fit, and my future husband could be called Pop! It just flowed and it felt good- Lolli & Pop. What a sweet pair!
Well, two weeks ago my dream became a reality, the beginning of my journey to becoming a grandma. My 27-year-old daughter revealed it to me driving to a weekend getaway, stuck in parking lot traffic naturally. She planned on waiting until we reached the resort before telling me I was going to be a Lolli, but her morning sickness threw a monkey wrench in those plans. Luckily, the announcement came out quickly, but her vomiting did not. At first, I thought she was joking, but from the ashen look on her face, I knew immediately it was the truth. (Every mother who has ever given birth knows that ghostly look of morning sickness).
I was overwhelmed with emotions, mainly excitement but also a bit of nausea which somehow found its way from her to me. Queue the butterflies and the fluttering stomach as I said ‘out loud: “OMG, I’m really going to be a Lolli!?!?!” Next were the screams and threats that she better not be joking. Freaking out best describes my response.
We spent the entire weekend watching movies, celebrating—that is, when she wasn’t in the bathroom or sleeping. I was drinking bubbly, and come to think of it, so was she—spoonfuls of Sprite. I spent hours on end researching every possible thing I could find about being a grandma, but was disappointed by the lack of material. AARP and an occasional knitting blog? I’m not Mother Goose or the Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. I mean knitting could be cool, but AARP was trying to give me advice on pre-planning my funeral. How did I go from 47 to 87 in one afternoon?! No, I refused to accept that. There just has to be more out there to inspire, connect, and be the best Lolli I can be.
Fast forward to today. Savannah isn’t due until April 2021 and her first appointment isn’t until September. She hasn’t even announced it on her social media channels. I can’t let the world know until she does. Respect. I already bought her a pregnancy robe, bath stuff, gender neutral baby swaddles, slippers, a preggo activity book, a monthly BumpBox (got one for baby dadda too) and I probably purchased several other carts full of items that I don’t remember buying in the middle of the night, when I couldn’t sleep because of my excitement.
As I help prepare my daughter and her babby dadda for this journey, I am also finding that I am preparing myself, my house and my mind. My dear friend Jennifer (AKA Aba), has been a grandma for 3 years (lucky!) and when Savannah and I told her about our baby and Lolli news, she shared with me why she loves being a grandma. It blew me away: “Because I can be my best self”. Those words floored me! They summarize the exact reason why I want to be a Lolli. I get to be my best self. I can be present and fun—with the experience of being a mom of 30 years!! Changing diapers, soothing hurts, being adventurous, and teaching how to play—been there, done that.
I always knew who I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a liver of life. I visualized myself gardening, painting, exploring, hanging out by the pool, cooking, reading…basically playing and doing the things I loved. The time is arriving shortly when I get to do this with my little grandbaby bundle of joy. I get to Be. My. Best. Self. Awww, yes, the Lolli life.
205 days to go and counting.
(You can call me Lolli now, because I’m changing my name from Starr to Lolli)