Guess what, folks? I've officially upgraded my status to "Grandma Extraordinaire!" Yep, that's right. Yours truly has a beautiful baby granddaughter named Autumn. And I’m writing this on the first day of Autumn.
One of my favorite books is ‘A Sense of Wonder’ by Rachel Carson, and this quote resonates deeply with me:
"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in."
I want to be one of those special people in her life who do that, but the 'village' that raises a child has changed, and like countless grandparents, my husband and I recently embarked on a cross-country voyage to meet this pint-sized bundle of joy in the flesh for the very first time. The anticipation had me practically bouncing off the walls! I mean, who could resist the temptation to soak up every ounce of that adorable baby magic during a whirlwind visit that would span just four days?
When I finally cradled her tiny body and gazed into her massive, soul-piercing eyes, I felt an instant connection. But let's be real, as a breastfeeding newborn, she was either chowing down on her mom's milk or taking epic naps that could rival Sleeping Beauty's. So, our "playtime" together was somewhat limited. Now, as many of you know, I'm also a postpartum doula, but I did my best to gracefully assume the role of Grandma Julie and hope that I’m around long enough to take walks in the woods with her and watch the night sky.
At dinner on the second precious day, I took a chance and said, "Let’s take the baby for a spin in the stroller tomorrow! She hasn’t seen the sky or the trees yet!" My son, the weatherman in training, analyzed the forecast and discovered a tiny window of opportunity between 8:00 and 8:30 am when the weather before the thermometer climbed to the high 90s, and we agreed to embark on Operation Stroller Expedition the following morning.
I was up at my usual 6:00 am (because grandmas don't sleep in, right?) and eagerly awaited the appointed stroller-rolling hour on the front porch of our nearby Airbnb. Autumn’s Papou (Greek for Grandfather) was ready too. As we arrived, our son was rolling the 'royal' hooded bassinet carriage out the front door. Autumn in a cool onesie, and her Mama was wearing her Nesting Days newborn carrier. Much to my delight, my sweet daughter-in-law has found it to be the lifesaver I intended it to be, and she was prepared if the ride didn’t go well.
Off we went (around the block) with the new parents and Papou forming a protective shield around the stroller like a marching band. "Is she too hot?" "Is the sun blinding her?" "Is this ride too bumpy?" I, being the resourceful person I am, decided to take on the role of documenting the entire journey with my iPhone. This was really her first walk outdoors.
Now, here's the tricky part. Autumn’s parents firmly believe Autumn should be the author of her own digital footprint to safeguard her future job prospects, privacy, and security. I've got to hand it to them; they're playing the long game. But when I sent them this blog (I wanted their approval), they gave me their permission to post an image of Autumn's big, beautiful eyes looking out at the world from her Nesting Days carrier, and of them laughing. Priceless.
We get photos and videos just about daily of our little granddaughter growing up, and they are all oozing with love and care, and living proof that when it comes to Autumn, we're all on the same team – Team Unconditional Adoration.
Now, it is time to go outside and enjoy the Autumn breeze.
Julie, Chief Mother Officer and Grandma!