Write that thank you note that you’ve been meaning to send this year… or would like to send next year…
Two years, three grandchildren, not bad huh? When people congratulate you on your grandchildren, I doubt they have an inkling of how awesome a grandmother you have been. Not because of the usual fond grandparent stuff, which you do, but because of the immense physical hard work you put into each of your granchildren’s lives when they were newborns.
Before Benji, I told you that if you couldn’t make it here to help me, I would manage. And I meant it with no malice. I do not believe mothers are obliged to tend to their children’s children when they are born. It is enough that they have tended to their own children. But you said you would want to do it. V asked me how I would feel if you only made it to my sister’s delivery and not mine, and I said, I would understand. I know it is hard for you to arrange to your obligations at home and spend a few months with us. Doing it twice in a year is harder.
But you came through, and how. The first time around I had underestimated how much I would need you. The second time, I knew better, and even V asked me if you could come for Mimi’s birth.
I will never forget and never let my children forget how you cared for them when they were born. The days and nights spent rocking them, so much so that your arm began to hurt and we had to use a balm. The burping that only you could do. Bathing them because we were too scared to. Helping me carry them to the doctors. All the hard stuff, the backbreaking stuff, the exhausting parts, you were there.
And supporting me, the mother who alternated between tears, ranting and rages. My postpartum behavior may have shocked and confused you but you tried your best to understand. When Mimi was born, you kept Benji occupied and I was amazed at your energy, running after a lively toddler.
For all this, I can only say thank you. Through you, I have learnt a mother’s love. I know that if Benji and Mimi have babies, I will have to make myself available in the same way that you did. Because of you, I know how to sacrifice again and again, fueled by love for my children.
Again, thank you.