Becoming a grandmother has been an unbelievable, wonderful, miraculous, amazing, outstanding, humbling and life-changing experience.
Every time I hold my little strudel, the amount of hakarat hatov (translated as “thankfulness” by Husband #1) I have cannot adequately be transposed into words. Honestly, I think I fell in love with Gd #1 quicker than I did with my own little monkeys. Is that possible?
Well, it must be possible, because it happened. I was explaining to Dil #1 (who, fortunately, still lets me explain things to her) that I didn’t think I would feel this way, as the mother-of-the-father. I always just thought that there would be that barrier that wouldn’t allow me to feel what I have been feeling, since my son will never be a mother. Does that make any sense? To anyone? But that is how I felt. Maybe it is because, thank God a zillion times, I get along with Dil #1 and the whole quarantining and moving in with us and all of the things that have been happening because of this pandemic have sped up our relationship. Two years is more like four years…
In any event, my point is that perhaps I feel this way about my little strudel because my relationship with her, so far, has involved a lot of intense bonding time. And the bonding time has been a result of getting along with Dil #1, so she wants that bonding time. (Remember my column where I said there are three sides to every story? Well, this might apply here, but I am still sticking with my theory.)
However, even though there have been times where when holding Gd #1 I have felt so much joy, there have always been times where I have started crying and sobbing uncontrollably because I will be talking to her (yes, Gd #1 and I have many intense conversations. She is a very good listener and always makes appropriate noises at the appropriate times) about how sad I am that my dad can’t tell her stories, and how I might not live to see certain milestones in her life. Depressing, right? But also a tad realistic. Ever since I found out that I was being blessed with a grandchild, that whole mortality-everybody-dies thing kind of just smacked me in the head. If my kid is having a kid, my job is done. He no longer needs me (not that he has acted like he has needed me the past few years, but you get my point). This whole next generation thing really gets you thinking about your place in the scheme of it all.
It is also this whole time of year that also gets you thinking. What you did right, what you did wrong, how can you do better. What is the next year going to bring to you? Will it be healthy and joyous or will it be the opposite? It really does test your faith. Perhaps that is the point.
And then there is the whole kappara theory. Did someone’s basement flooding so badly that they lost thousands of dollars of stuff save them from something really bad happening to them? My grandmother would always call that a kappara — hence my calling it the kappara theory. But some of these thought processes become a slippery slope, so I am just going to stop right here with that.
The lesson this time of year is to think about how you can do better, be better, act better — and then actually do it. I still remember learning in school that when someone asks you to forgive them three times, you must forgive them the third time. It became a joke in class. But what happens if you do ask for forgiveness and they won’t come to the phone, or they roll their eyes and just say, “fine whatever,” to get rid of you?
And how did I start this column talking about the most precious little human in the world and end up here? Because when I look at her, I just want her to have the best life. The happiest life. A life of only good health and joy. That is all we want for the people we love. And if trying to be a better person allows me to be on this earth with her a little bit longer, then I will totally make the effort. But I can’t make any promises and there are only so many miracles granted per year, but I will still try…
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck always finds it humorous that the “new fruit” in her house could technically be an orange because no one eats fruit…