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By LEON YOUNGBLOOD
Wife Sandy and I are scheduled to officially become grandparents Aug. 4. The date is tentative, of course, as our grandson—Lincoln Michael—is doubtless following his own schedule, and may have other plans regarding his birthday.
The other day, we met mom-to-be Miranda, her husband Cam, and Katlin (maid-of-honor at Miranda’s wedding) with her two-month-old daughter Kennedy at a restaurant for dinner. It was a weird experience, at least for me. The women talked about babies and pregnancy with an open frankness that was somewhat discomforting at the dinner table, but they were unaware of it. Cam and I, being merely men, could not possibly understand what the ladies were talking about. As it was, I learned more in a half-hour from the ladies about being pregnant than I had in my 60-plus years of blissful ignorance.
Baby Kennedy did provide some distractions. She let it be known she wanted her bottle, and she wanted it now. She soiled her diaper without giving it a second thought, but it was something her Mom had to tend to right away—not at the table, thankfully, but at the ladies’ restroom. Some of the women who passed by our table could not restrain their fascination with the newborn, but the men silently observed, “Yeah, that’s a baby, all right,” and let it go at that.
Gifts were exchanged. Kennedy received baby clothes, those pull-over garments that fasten at the crotch, and Lincoln received the same sort of things, except his were Star Wars themed, and everything was humorous and cute. The babies will have to grow, some, before the things can be worn. I’m sure this will occur soon enough.
Kennedy seemed to be assessing the visual information she was receiving through her bright, tiny eyes. She only stared at what was in front of her, and did not survey her surroundings. It was odd to think everything she heard, saw or felt was new, and I wondered what was going through her developing mind. I will soon be wondering the same thing about Lincoln.
It is certain, he will command loads of attention. He will issue orders, and they will be obeyed promptly by his subordinates. If he coughs, mother and father will examine him immediately. If he has a fever, they will spend long, sleepless hours caring for him. But for now, they are going through the mechanics of the situation, i.e., being pregnant.
The anecdote has been told of the mother who, having gone through a heated, tearful reaction from her expectant daughter for some trivial infringement, turned to catch her husband watching with a wry smile on his face “What,” she demanded, “can you possibly find so amusing?”
“Finally,” he answered, “you know what it’s like to live with a pregnant woman.”
Ladies, it’s something men cannot fully understand. But in fairness to men. I’m not sure women have it entirely figured out either.
I think Jodi Picoult put it well: “That’s the strange thing about being a mother: until you have a baby, you don’t even realize how much you were missing one.”
Mothers—is that true?