3rd Act Gypsy

Never Lost. Just Exploring

How to Welcome a Grandson

After forty weeks of anticipation, it was time to greet my first grandchild. The focus had been on the health and care of my daughter-in-law as she grew this tiny human. Months spent ensuring they had everything they needed to support the newest member of our family. A staggering accumulation that had me wondering, how can such a tiny being require so many things?! But times have changed since I had my children, and I was more than willing to embrace the new technology that seemed to be required to welcome a baby into our 21st-century world.

All was set as we waited for baby Max to arrive.

And waited. And waited.

In the waiting time, I tried to envision the best way to welcome my grandson into the world. A world of song and poetry, languages, both spoken and unspoken. A world full of warm touch, a snuggling cat, a bright summer day, and deep-hearted hugs. The colorful, scent-filled world of my hummingbird patio, overflowing with golden honeysuckle, pink jasmine, red kangaroo paws, and dream-scented lavender. A world too big and overwhelming for a little one, so I decided to offer my services as his travel guide in the years to come. Together, never lost, just exploring whatever intrigues him.

I also pondered what to say to him. Should I ask him to be patient with us as we get to know him and his particular needs? Should I read him a Mary Oliver poem (Summer Day), sing him a Van Morrison song (Moondance), or perform a Reiki blessing? Should I start telling stories about his dad and the family he’s joining because we are soooo much fun? Maybe not, I decide. Making a good first impression seemed very important during those waiting days.

All those thoughts flew out the hospital window when he finally decided to grace us with his presence – the brightest of lights during the dark winter solstice.

I gathered him in my arms, tentative at first but surprised at how quickly muscle memory kicked in. I’m not going to drop him, I thought. That’s a good start . . .

In the days since his birth, I’ve created a welcome checklist and started reviewing it with him. Granted, he’s been asleep for much of this ongoing conversation, but I have faith he’s hearing me on a cellular level.

First, I thanked him because I think being polite is always a good way to start a relationship. I thanked him for choosing my son and daughter-in-law as his parents. He’s blessed them by providing the deepest expression of their love for each other, and they are doing a great job. I thanked him for blessing me with the gift of watching my child become a father – a whole new layer of love that I have no words to describe.

Second, I told him everything I intended to teach him. How to hang a spoon off his adorable nose, a MacDonald clan tradition and part of his Irish/Scottish heritage. How to dance in the kitchen and listen to all genres of music – from Louis Armstrong to Taylor Swift to Hamilton show tunes. How to play piano, work a jigsaw puzzle, and tell a knock-knock joke that will drive his parents crazy. How to play balloon tennis on rainy days and whiffle ball on sunny afternoons. How to decipher silly limericks I’ll craft as clues for our scavenger hunts. I warned him I wouldn’t teach him to surf down the staircase on a boogie board (even if there were pillows at the bottom) because his dad and uncle garnered too many bruises from that shenanigan. But I will encourage any activity he wants to pursue (even playing the trombone or drums!)

Third, I shared my hopes and dreams with him. I hope his first words, after Mama and Dada, are Go Giants. I hope he experiences a million belly laughs and becomes a renowned hugger. I hope the editors at Webster’s Dictionary are busy revising the word adorable to include a photo of him. Also cute, brilliant, darling, and perfect… In that, I’m sure I’m just like every grandparent on the planet! I hope my cat Ollie, who won’t come out from hiding for anyone, decides he is worth the effort to emerge from under the bed.

I hope his curiosity knows no bounds. I hope his heart is compassionate and giving.

I shared my dream of writing stories together, fueled by his wild imagination and silly sense of humor. My dream of a better world for him and all of Generation Alpha. A world of possibilities, a world in which he will make a difference.

Finally, I felt compelled to tell him I don’t know how to be a grandmother. I’ll need help along the way. I reassured him that I have theater training and am pretty good at improvisation, so I think we will be fine. Besides, he’s already helped by reminding me that in the midst of an often harsh and cruel world, that wonder, true wonder, is still possible.

As I pass him back to his mom, swaddled like a lumpy-looking love bean, I whisper, “Welcome to our world, Max. I’m Korie, and boy, oh boy, are we going to have fun.”


19 Responses

  1. What a lovely welcome to the newest member of the family.
    Oh, the adventure you will have…..my grandsons can attest to that. And thank goodness for technology, so relationships can be nurtured over the miles.
    Enjoy every moment because, as you well know, time flies by! My eldest grandson is making course selections for high school next year! Remember when we took him to Peter Pan? Xo

  2. Dear Korie, what a sweet, rich treasure of blessings and wishes you’ve offered to your grandson. He is lucky to have *you* as his grandma and to receive such warm greetings and love, starting from his first moments out of the womb!

  3. So, so beautiful, Korie. Max, true to his name, is fated to live his life to the fullest possible, especially with your guidance and support. He is ridiculously lucky to have you!

  4. Congratulations! Grandmother-hood is the BEST! Your words and beautiful tribute prove you’ve already nailed it! I’ll celebrate my first grandson’s 3rd birthday on New Year’s Eve. He’ll probably be wearing the Giants sweatshirt I gave him for Christmas so all is right in the world. It seems time flies faster with grandchildren because it feels like he was just born. They grow and learn so quickly. Max is very lucky you are his grandmother! Enjoy the journey! 🥰

    1. Congratulations, Korie! So exciting. I can’t believe you are a grandmother. You are a beautiful soul and your story is beautiful. Miss you!

  5. How exciting. I remember when my first grandchild was born. A boy also. It was then I understood how people go crazy about their grandchildren and want to pull out the photos. Well, I didn’t do that. But I was totally absorbed in that child. I wanted to bake cookies, but then realized it might be a while before he can eat grandma’s cookies.

    Congratuations and may you fully enjoy this new life forever.

  6. That made me laugh and cry….what a blessing Max has in you as his Koko, grandmama, mother of his father…..or whatever his choice of name will be. Congrats! I’m so happy for you, Pete and Angelica!

  7. Korie, wonderful read. Thanks. My pseudo grandsons are Sam and Max! Let me know when you are in the neighborhood and I will treat you to a good meal. We can talk about the benefits of grandchildren and our recent aches and pains.


  8. Hi Korie
    Wonderful words.
    Many congratulations, your boys have grown up. 🙂

    I had 2 grandsons born in August, 3 days apart. Just awe inspiring to hold them and see your children become parents, just as you say “a whole new layer of love”.

    So much to celebrate and hold close.

    Take care
    Love to you and your “boys”

  9. Dear Korie,

    Welcome to the best club in the world! Grandparenting. This is the reward for raising your kids right! Seeing them become parents. Beyond words.

    Enjoy every little moment!

  10. Hey, Grandma!

    That little Max is going to have a blast with his Daddy’s Mama. Congrats to you, Max, Max’s parents, and (quite obviously) the world. Oh … and i love how you write.


  11. Oh Korie,
    You nailed the opening, just the start of witnessing the new life that you have chosen to be a part of. Like you, I’ve had the joy of watching our two sons become fathers and the gratitude I feel for their wisdom in selecting wives that are the best of mothers. Your blog post reads like poetry as you embrace this most wondrous of events in a woman’s life. There’s so much more to come. Keep sharing with us as you walk the “Grammy walk. We’ll be here to nod, laugh, tsk and smile as you discover a facet to yourself that only Max can bring out.
    Hugs, Sue :- )

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