A baby is born

I have a new grandson. Gabriel Matthew was born Feb. 3 at 1:20 p.m. He weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. and he and his mother are doing great.

Gabriel Matthew, born Feb. 3, 2014

Gabriel Matthew, born Feb. 3, 2014

Caryn didn’t have an easy pregnancy with Gabe. She was sick and sore and had several medical problems that weren’t really associated with having a baby. She developed a hernia in her belly button when she was seven months along, and they had to repair it. The procedure itself went well, but as she was healing, the baby kept kicking, as babies will do, and it was very painful.

So after 10 months of pain and misery, he finally made his appearance.

We couldn’t be happier. Especially my mother. Gabe is her 20th great-grandchild.

My mom is homebound and depends on me to relay information about the outside world. I called her Monday to tell her about the baby and she asked, “Who does he look like?”

My first response was, “Nobody.”  But as I watch Caryn feed and cuddle him, it occurred to me that he looks a lot like his older brother, Jake, (who’s 3) whose looks are a combination of his mom and dad, as is often the case.

When a baby is born, that’s usually the first thing that is asked. Who does it look like? The mom or the dad? But, really, does it matter?

Maybe they are just making conversation or maybe they really do care what the baby looks like. Or maybe they are really just musing about the miracle of life; how the DNA moves from one generation to the next, changing, merging, creating a unique being. I know that goes through my mind.

What a miracle life is. All of it.

When I think about how we were  all were born, how we grew, how we were able to learn everything we did, it leads to the next topic of conversation in my head; what or who is God, really? And why did he decide to create life as we know it? What is his purpose for us and what does he want from us?

I have my own ideas about all this, as I’m sure everyone else does, too. I am grateful that I am able to comprehend any of it, and I continue to look for more clues about what it all means.

But today I am content thinking about my new grandson, how unique he is, and enjoying his cuddliness.

I have 11 grandchildren now. When I tell people this they look at me in shock. I’m not sure why. My grandma had 35. And my mom has 22. I have perfectly fine with 11. Besides, the number isn’t important; it’s more about what I can do to better the lives of my grandchildren; how I can help make them into the people they were meant to be.

I love being a grandmother mostly because they love me just because I’m me. I’m a fun grandma; I play with them (when I have the energy) and we bake, and do crafts, and make things, something I wish I could have done with my grandma.

But as much as I would do anything for them, I also make sure they learn to play nice and respect others. I can be a meanie, too, though it doesn’t happen too often.

I’m amazed at how easy it was for me to slip into this role as Grandmother. But then again, I’ve practicing for it my entire life.